Angie Lucas's picture

It's Time to Pamper (and Scrapbook) Yourself!

Let's talk about YOU. Do you get so wrapped up in taking care of everyone (and everything) around you, that you forget to take care of yourself? Well, you're not alone. As women, we have so many demands on our time that it can be difficult to find the time to exercise, eat right, take care of our skin and bodies, find time for rejuvenation and inspiration, and participate in other activities that feed the body and soul.


So today, Wednesday, April 11, I want to encourage you to be a little bit self-indulgent, maybe even selfish, just for a little while. Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Shop for yourself. Scrapbook about yourself! You deserve it just this once.


In that spirit, I invited two of our Ella Friends, Ashley and Audrey, to join me in creating autobiographical scrapbook pages. We're all busy ladies, for sure, but we carved out a bit of time for these reflective pages—and it was worth the effort! It really is important to spend some of your crafting time scrapbooking just about yourself, to be the star of your own life story.


Here are three different approaches for scrapbooking about yourself.

1. My Layout

Click image for larger view

Tip: Scrapbooking about yourself doesn't have to mean you're alone in the photos, just that you're pictured on the page. And actually, it's essential that you are taking photos of yourself with your kids on a fairly regular basis. You'll treasure these photos as your kids grow up. If you don't have one shot where both subjects look their best (or are even looking at the camera), print several images film-strip style! This series shows my daughter Keira opening a little Easter present.

Note: Now I know some women hate having their picture taken, because they feel self-conscious about so many things, such as not being as young and thin as they once were. But I'm going to tell you something: you look better than you think you do. And I hate to break it to you, but whatever age you are, you're not getting any younger. This is the youngest you will ever be! Which means you better hurry and get your picture taken before you get any older! I promise that 10 years from now, when you look back at today's photos, you'll be surprised at how great you actually looked, and you'll be grateful you allowed yourself to be captured on camera.


Ashley's Layout

Ashley's journaling reads:  Me- I am never the one in front of the camera. I know there are reasons for this. Well, those reasons are going to change and so am I. Slowly but surely I will beat my inner struggles and be in front of the camera more. Like today.


Audrey's Layout

Click image for larger view.


Audrey's journaling starts with: "There was a time when I just refused to step in front of the camera; I was always so critical of what I saw when I looked at myself later." And it ends like this: "I am growing into this skin I'm in and realizing that this is who I am, and who I am is loved beyond compare." Beautiful!

You matter. You really do. And we hope these layouts inspired you to turn the spotlight on yourself.


And now it's time to reveal our little secret. One of the things that gave us confidence to mug for the camera for these pages is that all three of us have been trying out a skin care line called Muvazi. And you can try it, too, for $80 off if you'll keep reading! Note: we did not get compensated for saying these nice things about Muvazi, apart from the trial products three of our team members received. We were simply excited to share a great deal with you plus a little reminder that it's okay to pamper yourself every now and then.

Here are a few things we loved about it:

Angie: "For years, I was using products designed for oily skin (but my skin is actually dry), which only made breakouts worse. One thing I loved about the Muvazi line is that my face feels supple and super hydrated every night for bed."

Ashley: "I have been battling impetigo for nearly a year and nothing would get rid of it. This has kept it at bay for almost a month now. I love this stuff!!"

Audrey: "I'm usually a wash and wear kind of girl, so I like that the Muvazi products are simple to use and don't add much time to my daily routine. The cleanser and toner combination means one less step, and the pump bottles mean less mess."

Angie: "I love the Hydrating Fae Serum that you put on after the cleanser. It's so light and smells so lovely."
Audrey: "One of my biggest problem areas is the crease between my eyebrows. It's partly caused by genetics (my dad had the same wrinkle), and partly caused by a tendency to frown, especially while I'm reading (and I read a lot), regardless of my actual mood. The face serum has smoothed that area out, so that the crease is less evident."

It's amazing how just spending a couple of weeks pampering yourself a little bit—whether that's through taking better care of your skin or getting a pedicure or picking out a new Spring outfit—can lift your overall outlook. Try it! And then take a picture of yourself and make a page. We dare you.


If you'd like to try the Muvazi line yourself, we have a KILLER deal for you. Use the code PAMPERYOURSELF to save $80 off the kit (includes cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream) AND get free shipping. It's priced at $149 and you get it for just $69. No kidding! And there's a 30-day money-back guarantee, too, so if it doesn't work for you, there's no risk. And come back tomorrow for your chance to win the kit for FREE!

Melissa Shanhun's picture

Happy scrapbookers focus on the everlasting

I am a happy scrapbooker. I am a person who creates for the love of it, free to create and free to love what I've created, whether or not it has the latest products, techniques or story telling motifs.


I was drawn to Stacy Julian and Lain Ehmann's eBook, 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers and knew that there would be some gems hidden inside these covers!


Inside Lain and Stacy share how scientific research into happiness has shown that practices such as paying attention, appreciating what you have, and being present in the moment make us happier. I love the idea putting practices into my life to build my happiness, and I've even joined in on a Scrap Happy blog series to help reinforce the ideas I've learnt through this and other happiness related books.


{ discovery no.7 } Don’t confuse stuff with success really stood out to me. Things can't make you as happy as good relationships with your family and friends.

So I took a break from my latest 'big project' to spend an hour creating a layout that documented a special relationship I've seen growing in the last 2.5yrs. The father-daughter bond of our little Emily and my husband Phill.

I just used whatever supplies I had on hand that were pink and green, and didn't turn my nose up at reusing my favourite colour scheme and digital goodies from Flergs and a template from Jenn Lindsay.

The result was a meaningful and fun page, using photos of Phill and Emily that I love.

Journaling: Emily I love that you and Daddy have so much fun together. Helping around the house, playing with Little People (who always need to see Dr Duck with their sore throats and sore eyes). Swimming, colouring, drawing on the chalkboard, playing outside, gardening, watching the occasional episode of Anamaniacs (I feel feathery, oh so feathery) and of course shopping at Bunnings. I love that you two love spending time together! 
I took a few minutes (while Emily played with her blocks and fed me a few imaginary lollipops) to document this relationship, something in my life that brings me greater joy than the transitory infatuation with the latest handbag, cute dress or even my new Silhouette Cameo could ever hope to bring.
Go and find out 19 other ways you can bring some more happiness into your pages (and life)!
Grace Tolman's picture

Inspired by Double Page Design ebook

So you have printed off your favorites from your most recent travel or holiday photos and although you’ve narrowed down the pile from 300 to 10, you still feel like it’s a daunting task to get them on a double page spread. You want your photos to shine against the background but there are a few embellishments you want to add to it to create some pizzazz! Well did you know that the ebook “Double Page Design” can be your lifesaver?

That’s how I felt about the photos I used in this layout and the sketches on the end of the ebook gave me the perfect inspiration to complete this page in no time at all. It also helped me put everything I wanted (photos in prominent spots, embellishments and pattern papers sprinkled all over) cohesively in the page.

So if you are like me and needing some instant inspiration today to put together those pages with 7 or more photos then the Double Page Design ebook is just the answer! You will get design tips from the Write.Click.Scrapbook team on how to create two page spreads that have a cohesive and well designed look. Don’t forget the sketches at the back; I’m sure you’ll use them again and again.

Supplies Used:
Cardstock- (sky blue, pool) WorldWin; Pattern papers and stickers- Year-o-graphy, Simple Stories; Letter Stickers- Boiled blue, Alpha beans, Jillibean Soup; Corner rounder- Creative Memories; Tape- Source Unknown; Bling- BoBunny; Border punch- Scallop, Creative Memories; Black pen- Creative Memories; Adhesives- Glue Arts

Ella's picture

Gift idea: Photo Tile Necklace

The Crafting Chicks

This is a blog repost from Kristen of the

So the Scrabble Tile Necklace was the perfect solution to last year’s birthday roundup. All the gifts that are given from my fingertips routinely have something to do with pictures. WHY? Because I’ve been a photographer for ten years now. That means that I have pictures of everyone and their dog (literally), and who doesn’t like a picture of….their DOG, or a candid from their wedding, snapshot of their kid, or a picture of their whole family, on a necklace. Que the Scrabble Tile Necklace….PHOTO style.

For a lovely tutorial on how to glue and protect your necklace (after learning how to personalize below), head over to the wonderful blog Make and Takes.




STEP 1: Open Photoshop (I use CS2), but this can be done on Photoshop Elements as well as the full version of Photoshop.

Go to FILE, then NEW then make a 4×6 canvas by putting 4 in the width box and 6 in the height box.

Make sure your setting is on inches instead of px. The 4×6 will allow you to make images for multiple necklaces.

STEP 2: On the 4×6 canvas make some squares with your shape tool that measure approx. .75″ x .75″. Use the rulers to eyeball it. If your rulers are not showing, go to VIEW and click on RULERS. This will allow you to see how big your shapes are. These squares will be the template for the pictures.

STEP 3: OPEN the photo you are going to use. LEFT CLICK and DRAG that photo over to the 4×6 canvas. At this point you can go to your LAYERS palette. For each of the squares you make you will find that each one is represented in it’s own layer (like a transparency).

STEP 4: Position your photo over the first square making sure your photo is directly over that particular square in the layers pallet. If it’s not directly over that square in the layers palette, LEFT CLICK on the photo layer and move it over the first square.

STEP 5: Then for the MAGIC. This is called a CLIPPING MASK. It’s lovely, wonderful and beautimous. With the photo layer selected (you will know this if the layer is photo layer is highlighted in the layers palette), you push CTRL ALT G (CTRL G on Photoshop Elements). This will magically place your picture into the template. You can now move it around and zoom and crop where you want the photo. It’s magic. At this point, add your frame you can find from any digi site if you search for them. Open this file then place the frame on the picture. For more photos, repeat steps 3-5 on the next square until you’ve filled up your 4×6 and are making a necklace for everyone you know. They will love you for it.

Add some dangles, charms, or leave as is. You will be loved for giving such a personal gift.

Angie Lucas's picture

Make a Leap Year Time Capsule (+ $100 giveaway)

Exactly four years ago tomorrow, I had an idea for a fun tradition to start every Leap Day. Leap Day was already 75% over by the time the idea struck me, but I didn't let that stop me.


On February 29, 2008, I created a Leap Year Time Capsule! And this year, I opened it one day early, so I could share the contents with you and perhaps inspire you to try something similar tomorrow.


I picked out a cute container from TJ Maxx (actually a wine gift box, I think). And filled it with random evidence of everyday life.


Like pictures I quickly took that night, featuring the members of the household: me, my husband, my stepson, my dog, and my nieces who were over for a slumber party that weekend.


And our favorite snacks. Now petrified.


And the front page of the newspaper, receipts from that day and earlier that week (showing a typical grocery trip), and other random things. Like the cost of a stamp and a gallon of gasoline.

And a list of facts about our lives right now, like the hobbies we're into, latest news, ways we're serving in our church, etc. Mostly I focused on things that I imagined were going to change in the next 4 years. (Example: at the time, we were planning to put our home up for sale. But it turns out that we didn't.)


And a little prediction I asked my mom to write on a sticky note. She was exactly right about having 12 grandkids by 2012! She was less right about my little brother and my little sister being married by now. Know anyone? ;)


And some confidential stats, like our respective salaries, mortgage payment (since I thought that was going to change), weight (also thought that was going to change, ha!), stuff like that.


It was SO fun to look through the things I saved that day four years ago and reflect on how things have changed. Jeremy is now 17 and about to graduate. We have a 17-month-old baby. We said goodbye to our sweet Ruby, and we now have a 2-year-old crazy dog. Jobs and salaries have changed. Postage stamps and gasoline are more expensive. It's the stuff of life.


Give it a try! I'm making another one this year. Hopefully this one will be a little prettier, planned out, coordinated in some way. But even if it's not, that's not the point, is it?


For extra help capturing the details of your everyday life (perhaps in a darling little notebook for your time capsule), pick up the List It! Everyday Life Edition journaling guide. All List It! products are 29% off through Leap Day!


Happy Leap Day!


And Now For Today's Giveaway

We continue our Stamping Month wrap-up with another fantastic giveaway.

We're excited to introduce you to a new online scrapbooking retailer,! It's a cool story: a friend and business consultant of Ella Publishing Co. recently purchased an existing online retailer that was about to close its doors. He's now giving it an extreme makeover, so please pardon any dust. It has a cool new name and logo, a new and evolving website, and it will soon have an infusion of new products. But in the meantime, there are plenty of products in inventory that are still cute and trendy—hundreds of which are available at 25% off for the grand opening.



Lucky for you, is celebrating Stamping Month by offering EVERYONE a 50% off coupon (that's off the already discounted grand-opening prices) on anything in the stamps and inks category. Use code ELLAFEB50 at checkout through February 29, 2012 to save your 50%, and you'll also get FREE SHIPPING on your order (to U.S. addresses).


Now THAT'S a deal! Click here to take your pick of stamping goodies, from Pink Paislee, Sassafrass Lass, Autumn Leaves, 7Gypsies, Prima, Inkadinkadoo, and more. Oh, and inks too! (I myself can't say enough good things about the My Mind's Eye 8-color inkpads. I love mine!)


Also leave comment on this post to enter today's giveaway for a $100 gift certificate to, which includes free shipping to U.S. addresses! Entries accepted through Wednesday, February 29. Randomly drawn winner posted March 1st.

(Tip: yesterday's giveaway is also open through Wednesday!)


Shemaine Smith's picture

Scrapbooking Girls


Little girls are so special. I have wanted a daughter for as long as I can remember. I'll never forget the day of my ultra sound, holding my breath as the Doctor had a look at my baby and the feeling of the tears falling down my checks as I anxiously waited for him to speak. ( I know ...I was totally hormonal) When he finally looked at me and said what I'd secretly hoped and prayed he would say, it was like the world was suddenly brighter than I'd ever seen it. Now that's not to say that I wasn't just as emotional and full of joy over the birth of my son but there is something magical about having a girl.


Scrapbooking my daughter's last 4 years is something I have thoroughly enjoyed but just like you, I run out of ideas for themes and "girly" topics. Ella's Essential guide to scrapbooking girls is full of great ideas and as I flipped thru the issue I loved Daddy's Little Princess on p8.


I scrapped a layout documenting some of the fun things my husband does with our daughter and chose some silly photos that I knew would make her giggle at any age. Here's my take on this challenge.




I loved Nicole's suggested formula of using a floral pattern, pink and scalloped circles for instant femininity. I applied that combination by choosing patterned paper, chipboard and thickers from Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection. For the scalloped circles I created my own flowers from coordinating patterned paper.





Since February is Stamping Month here at Ella, I also incorporated this month's theme in my layout by using Unity Stamp Company's February SMAK (Scrapbooking Mixed Media & Altered Art) kit. For me, stamps add an extra element to my layouts and I really like that I can create so many ways to use them.



A suggestion I'd like to share is that when you use stamps with your layouts, have fun overlapping your images with different colored inks like I did here. For the Together  image I used black onyx ink by Versafine (my #1 choice of black ink) and for the Happy image, Studio G green chalk ink.


If you're struggling with layout themes for photos of your little girl, then check out Ella's Essential Guide to Scrapbooking Girls available thru February 29th for only 4.99! That's a $1 off.


p.s. Ella has an Essential Guide for Scrapbooking Boys, too! Available now.

Grace Tolman's picture

“At this Moment” layout- Eight is Enough project

Hello Ella fans, Grace here to share with you a page I made which was inspired by the “Eight is Enough” ebook. I have to say that this was a daunting challenge for me as I like to layer my projects with all sorts of goodies and having limited myself to just eight products was a bit scary! But here’s the result….

I started off with these products….

Supplies Used:
I Cardstock
3 Pattern papers from the Nantucket line of Pink Paislee
1 Letter sticker sheet from American Crafts
1 button pack from Fancy Pants Design
1 Baker’s twine (stone color from Twinery)
1 Pen

After thinking the challenge through I realized that I would be able to remain true to my style if I pick more papers than anything else. I love the versatility of papers and with a few dimensional adhesives, I knew that I’d be able to come up with ways I can create my own embellishments with them. Because this is a ‘boy’ themed layout I also went with a more masculine color scheme and chose buttons for my accents.


One of the great ways to maximize your products, especially for a challenge like this is to cut out the inside portions of your big papers that you will be using for background or matting. I did just that with the yellow/beige diagonal striped paper. With this technique, I was able to use the leftover papers to make a small diamond box that housed one of my button and also the yellow strips that I placed by my title.

A few more techniques I did for this page…
1. When I was outlining the letters for my title, I goofed off on the “a” and got the pen line inside the letter. After I pulled off the bad “a”, I realized that I liked the negative look on it so I peeled off two more stickers to make it a cohesive look.
2. I wanted to add that beige strip of paper in the middle over my red diagonal pattern but I didn’t like the “flat” look of it so I crimpled the strip, added notches to both ends to mimic ribbon and created my own design by outlining the circles from my buttons. Fast, easy and cheap!
3. I like the look of machine stitching but because I have very limited supplies to work with, I just used my pen instead. I believe Pens are a great tool to use on any page. You can doodle with it, write your journaling and as you saw in my page, mimic machine stitching. The possibilities are endless.

To see a few more detailed shots of the layout, you can check my blog here.


Make sure to get a copy of the ebook “Eight is Enough” here. There are so many ideas and tips that you can get to making the most of your scrapbook supplies today.


Happy Crafting everyone.

Donna Jannuzzi's picture

Cultivating a Spirit of Gratitude

Hello Everyone!  Donna here with you today, and I want to take a moment to interrupt your Christmas preparations to talk to you about a new product from digital designer Crystal Wilkerson that will help you to develop a habit of gratitude and will also help a family in need.


This time of year is very special, and for many different reasons.  For Americans, we’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving and now for a lot of us, we are looking forward to, and preparing for Christmas.  We will spend time with our families, and we will try to remember all those great big things in our lives that we are thankful for.  Feelings of gratitude come to us naturally at this time of year, but perhaps you’ve thought about trying to cultivate that same spirit of thanksgiving all year long?  Last month Crystal hosted a Thirty Day Gratitude Challenge and to go along with the challenge she designed 30 gratitude cards with journaling prompts.  Here is an example card and its corresponding journaling prompt:

The cards and prompts fit on an 11 x 8.5 sheet of paper, and can be printed, cut in half, and placed in a 5.5 x 8.5 binder

(you can find the binders and page protectors at office supply stores). 


What prompted Crystal to design this project was a desire to help a family whose father is currently battling brain cancer:



Scott Norton is 30 years old, married to Emily, and a father of two young boys.  In August of this year, the family discovered that Scott had a large cancerous brain tumor.  He has had two surgeries to remove sections the tumor and has undergone radiation therapy to remove the remaining tumor and to prevent the tumor from spreading.  You can read more about their story on Crystal's blog.


The thirty quotes for the gratitude journal that Crystal created come in two sets of 15.  Each set costs $2.50.  Which means that all 30 quotes with journaling prompts can be downloaded in a high-quality .JPG format for only $5.  In addition, the second set of quotes also includes a cover page for the inside of your notebook, a contract and bonus quote, insert for the spine and cover of your notebook, and printable notebook paper.  You can find the sets here:  Gratitude Quotes Set 1, Gratitude Quotes Set 2.


100% of the proceeds will go to help the Norton family

with their medical expenses.


Maybe you are thinking that you don’t have time right now to start a gratitude journal, or that a thirty day commitment would produce more thoughts of guilt than gratitude.  Not a problem!  Because the files are high-quality .JPGs they can be resized, or manipulated and used for more than one purpose.  For example, I printed the gratitude card from Day 15 as a 4 x 6 photo and used it as a title for this layout:



I also used the journaling prompt for that day to help me focus my thoughts about this photo and that day.  The cards and prompts can be used in any way that you’d like which makes this a truly versatile product.


I hope you will take a few moments from your busy schedule today to think about all the things in your life that you are grateful for.  Then, please consider helping this young family in need.  I know they will be thankful and appreciative of your support!

Angie Lucas's picture

Quick and Inexpensive Christmas Gift Albums

Hi everyone! I've got a great idea for quick and inexpensive Christmas gift albums that you can make for anyone on your list—scrapbooker or not.

Here are three little albums I made for three family members this year—all in one evening! I used $1 brag books I found at my local big box store (just cheap 4 x 6 plastic photo sleeve albums), plus supplies I had on hand and the List It! Christmas Edition (digi plus) png files. The cool thing about the List It! products is that you can download the product once and then print it as many times as you want to make as many gift albums as you want.

I used the included List It! title page on the one side, with a quick page on the left side, featuring a photo of me with three of my siblings and Santa, circa 1984. BUT because I used the .png version of the files, I could colorize them a nice holiday red. (The printable version comes in neutral color palette.)

And guess what? Colorizing and customizing .png files is really quite simple. I even recorded a quick screencast last night to show you how it's done.


See how simple?


The idea with these albums is that my family members can just choose 12 favorite pictures from Christmas to slip into the photo sleeves next to the 12 prompted journaling lists I printed and included in each book. There are a few fun quizzes included in List It! Christmas, so I used a few of those as well. (Click image for a larger view.)


I will also include with the gift an instruction card giving my family members permission to use horizontal OR vertical pictures, just choose their 12 favorite Christmas pictures without regard to whether they "match" the topic of the list on the facing page, and use their own handwriting (no matter how they feel about their handwriting) for a truly meaninful keepsake for their kids. I'll also remind them that this one snapshot of Christmas memories does not constitute a requirement to do this every year. But if it sparks that desire in them, all the better!


I created my three albums assembly-line style to save even more time. So the interior contents of all three are identical. But I couldn't resist customize the covers differently.


The List It! Christmas Edition comes with several types of blank lists (blank title area, lines only, and completely blank inside). I printed a handful of blanks to include in the back cover of each album, in case anyone's not inspired by the particular lists I chose and wants to make up their own.



And, if you're signed up for the Ella email list, you'll be getting a nice coupon today that you can use on any one item between now and December 31.


I plan to give my albms a bit early, so my family can take advantage of that pre-Christmas anticipation that can be a real fuel for creativity and journaling.



Ella's picture

Handmade Gift Idea from One Charming Party

The Tastes and Smells of Christmas

Nothing tastes like Christmas more than hot chocolate. We think this homemade version is fit for Jolly Old Saint Nick himself! But even if your holiday agenda doesn’t include flying in a reindeer-drawn sleigh or delivering presents around the world, you too will need a break from the hustle and bustle at some point. Relax and enjoy this recipe—a perfect pairing with some peppermint bark or a couple of warm sugar cookies.

Now that your lights are up and your tree is trimmed, make your house smell like Christmas, too. This delicious-smelling potpourri recipe is sure to do the trick. It’s so easy to make with items you probably already have in your cupboard.

Check out the One Charming Party website for more great ideas for holiday parties, birthday parties, and more!

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