Hello Ella friends, Grace here to share with you one of the many ways you can make your own handmade embellishments. PAPER PIECING has been around our crafting hobby since I can remember. It has has it's evolutions over the years from hand piecing to following templates to now, my favorite....using the die cut machine.

I love using my die cut machine to create layered pieces of paper that when adhered together creates an image that's truly handmade and super cute. Since we are coming into the fall season, I decided to show you my paper pieced apple accents that I've added to this layout....


as you can see, I made three and used it as a visual triangle for my layout. I love how with paper piecing, you can personalize your accents matching it with the color scheme and theme of your project. It's also a great way of using up scrap papers. As you can see, I was able to use a bit of white, read, lime green and green cardstocks. Handmade and recyclable...what more can you ask for?!

and because I had so much fun with making this accents, I made a slightly bigger one and added it to a bookmark...

I have found that with paper piecing projects, especially the ones that have small parts like the green itty bitty leaf in my apple, the right adhesive makes a big difference. My favorite with projects like these are the Xyron create-a-sticker machine. It only had a widthof 1.5" so it's really small but that's ok cause I can use my dry adhesive or glue stick for the big ones. With the Xryon adhesive, I am sure that all of the itty bitty cuts are covered with adhesive on the back side and I didn't even have to get my fingers icky sticky with liquid adhesive. I don't think I can create a paper pieced item without it!

and here again are the projects close together...

I hope you enjoyed my paper piecing share today and happy crafting.
- Grace

Supplies Used: (layout) Cardstock- WordWin, Coredinations; Pattern papers- Studio Calico, Jillibean Soup, American Crafts; Letter stickers- (orange) American Crafts; (blue/white) October Afternoon; Buttons- Fancy Pants Design; Die cut machine- Cricut, Provo Craft; Cartridge- CM Cheerful Seasons; Border punch- Fiskars; Pen- Creative Memories; Twine- Carribean, The Twinery; Adhesives- Xyron, Glue Arts, Creative Memories (bookmark) Cardstock- WorldWin; Letter stickers- Creative Memories; Twine- The Twinery; Border punch- Fiskars; Corner rounder- Creative Memories; Pen- Creative Memories;  Adhesives- Xyron, Creative Memories, Glue Arts

kelly vandermolen's picture

Quick and Easy felt flowers

Hello, my friends. It is me, again, here to share with you a super simple hand-made embellishment. I chose to make felt flowers with Papertrey Ink dies, felt, and my old, faithful Cuttlebug. I need a show of hands for how many people still (after all these years) love their Cuttlebugs! I know. Anyway, first, I will show you my layout:

See those cute little flowers on the bottom left? They could not be easier to make. Papertrey Ink felt is wool felt and it cuts like a dream as long as you use a shim of some sort (Papertrey makes one but you can also use a thin piece of chipboard) when you run the dies through your Cuttlebug (or other die cut machine). 

After you cut the flowers, you just layer them (or not) and stitch a button on and voila!...you have a lovely little embellishment that adds cuteness and wonderful texture to your project. One little hint that seems to work for me is to stitch the buttons and felt flowers right through the paper so you do not need to worry about sticking felt to paper which is not always the easiest thing to do. Those little glue dots (that I treasure, by the way) don't really adhere wonderfully well to felt.

Oh, and, one important little thing before I go...

make sure you use the negative die cut because you do not want to waste even a little scrap of that wonderful felt. Well, that is all for me today so I hope you enjoy this lovely day and I hope you have fun making cute little felt embellishments all of your very own.

kelly vandermolen's picture

mini me!

August, as I am sure you have discovered, is mini month at Ella. I, for one, am stymied by the mini. Even my December Daily albums which, in theory, are supposed to be minis are really better decribed as large, somewhat unruly, wanna-be, full-sized scrapbooks. Soooo, what is an Ella girl to do? Get over herself, that is what! Okay, then. I really cannot tell a lie and I really must say that this little assignment stumped me but, in fact, the answer was right in front of my face. My desk was littered with packaging from Ormolu because of the last wee assignment I completed so while sifting through all of that goodness I found a little package of Negative Number Package Tags and an idea was born.

There are twelve tags in the package so I am using my tags for my new year's resolutions. Please tell me that there is someone else out there who still feels that the beginning of the school year feels more like the new year than January 1 does?! Anyone? I always use the beginning of the school year to take stock and set goals and learn something new so, using some of my favourite quotes from the Bible I have made a little book of goals (if you will)...it is a work in progress.

Right now, these little tags have a place on my inspiration board but once all twelve are completed they will be gathered on a loose-leaf ring and I will carry them with me in my book bag as a continual reminder of where my energies should be focused! Happy mini month and, dare I say, happy new year, too!

kelly vandermolen's picture

Just don't be too hasty...

about throwing your packages away! I love a clever packaging concept and those wiley scrapbook manufacturers really know how to grab my attention with cute and (believe it or not) useable goodness just in the packaging, never mind the product itself. One such example is the ever lovely line-up from Ormolu. Ormolu products, in my humble opinion, are simple and gorgeous and maybe, just maybe, part of their appeal is how they are packaged. Case in point:

I know exactly what you are thinking. Okay, I don't really but I know what I was thinking when I flipped this package over and that was, 'how sweet is that?' So sweet! Most of the packaging has a little banner of loveliness perfect for using to embellish a scrapbook layout. Nice. Here is a little peak of my banner in action on a layout:

Does it not look like it was absolutely designed to be used? I think it does. And, here is a look at my completed layout, sweet little banner and all. Oh, and, just as an aside, I used an actual tag from inside the lovely package as well and the rest of my supplies are from the Studio Calico June kit!

I know the photo is dark but the sweet little tag just pops off of the page which is just what I was hoping it would do! 

Anyway, I encourage you to look (really look) at the lovely packaging before you dig in to the goodies inside. You just might find a wee gem that otherwise would have been tossed into the bin and really, where is the fun in that?

Wendy Smedley's picture

Spring Fling Giveaway: by Big Picture Classes

April is such a happy month!! Many thanks to Big Picture Classes for sharing these awesome giveaways. To make it easy to enter and even easier to track we are trying out a giveaway tracker, raffelcopter, It is super easy and allows you to enter more than once, no need to come back and leave multiple comments either.

Giveaway information below!

1. Design Challenges is a 4-week workshop with Elizabeth Dillow and Stacy Julian

Fitting scrapbooking into a busy schedule can be tricky; even more so if you’re feeling a little stale, bored, or generally uninspired! Scrapbooking is about the photos and the words that make up your memories, of course, but if you lose sight of the value of the process, our beloved hobby can feel a little like a chore—and scrapbooking should never feel like a chore. If your creative process is feeling a little anemic or you simply want the accountability of a challenge to reset your creative focus, you need Design Challenges!

2. Join Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters in this self-paced class, Picture Color.

Through this 30-day photo centric celebration, Picture Color will encourage you to turn your lens toward the colors that delight you most. With daily email prompts delivered right to your inbox, you will be greeted and inspired by a myriad of colorful shades to awaken your senses and your inner-artist as your camera clicks color after vibrant color!

3. Have fun using your stash and making pages with Nic Howard and May Flaum in Double Take, a 4-week workshop.

Are you looking for a class to help you use your stash while embarking on a journey of creative fun? Do you want to put a dent in your pile of photos whilst learning through sketches and example layouts how to create visually effective layouts? Double page scrapbook layouts are a great way to create a more cohesive looking album, include more photos and stories in your layouts and still have plenty of room left over for creative fun! What could be better than getting a whole class packed with two-page layouts? We're doubling the fun with not just one, but two of our fabulous teachers, and they are teaming up for a BPC class like never before!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wendy Smedley's picture

Holiday layouts with List it!

I did a little scrapbooking over the break (thus the vacant blog) and have a few layouts to share.  These two layouts used the Christmas List it! and one of my favorite scrapbooking tools, my Epson PictureMate.

My formula for holiday layouts below

Bright and cheery colors + wallet sized photos + happy patterns + handwriting = cute holiday layouts!

Do your holiday pages have a formula? Please share!

Christmas List it!

Teresa Moon's picture

Chipboard to Mini photo book

Hi this is Teresa from Talented Terrace Girls [talentedterracegirls.blogspot.com]. If you are saying what blog is that? Well let me tell you….we are a group of neighbors (8 to be exact) trying to swap and share ideas, recipes, and fun monthly challenges between us girls. We have a bit of everything and we love creating. We just started our blog June 2011 so we are a baby blog, but I am proud to say we have over 150 posts!!

Thanks for letting me share my idea I loved creating it.

Okay let me explain how this idea came to be. Every month over at Talented Terrace Girls we have a challenge where we are given an item and told to “create” something AMAZING! Well this month we were given chipboard. After much deliberation I decided to make a photobook! I have always wanted to create one from scratch but was always a little intimidated until NOW!

Supplies: chipboard, scrapbooking paper, pictures, scissors, glue (mod podge or elmers), embelishments (ribbon, brads, clips, stickers, etc…)

First cut your chipboard to 4”x 4”. I cut 16 pieces and used 2 of those for my covers. If you have a husband who lays carpet like me then you can find a cool knife to cut your boards with ease.

Now cut some paper you will use for binding the book, you will need 1 less then the number of pages you have. I have 14 pages so I cut 13 binding strips. This paper can be seen or unseen. I choose to leave mine seen so I didn’t clog up the page centers. I picked my solid colored paper and cut it to 4”x 2”. Now fold it in half length wise (hotdog style) with the pretty sides facing each other (kissing).

Now take 2 pages and 1 binding strip. Glue the strip onto the 2 pages so it opens like a book. The paper fold will face out leaving 1” pretty inside each page. Continue to glue all your pages together using your binding strip in between each page. Make sure to keep them as straight and flush as possible to create a more precise book.Once they are all glued together I added a thick layer of glue to the back of the binding to give it a little extra strength.

Now the cover! Take a large sheet of scrapbook paper lay it pretty side down, white side up. Then place both your front and back cover on the paper. But wait.. what is the little skinny piece in the picture?? The spine of your book of course! To make the spine cut a 4” piece then place the binding side of your book on the 4” piece and measure or trace the width of your spine. Cut it out and placein between your covers. Leave a little space between your chipboard so you have moveablitiy, allowing you to open and close your book. Now glue your cover and spine to the paper leave a 1” paper excess on each side. Now cute the corners of the paper off (the little green triangle). Now get ready to wrap your book cover! You are going to fold and glue each side down making crisp corners.

Your cover should look like this on the inside.

Next cut 2 pieces of paper 4”x 8” This is the inside page that is attaching your cover and pages together. Fold this paper in half (hamburger) so you have a 4” square on each side of the fold. Cover your first page of the book with glue, then place the 8”x4” paper onto the front page. You need to have the fold match up with the binding side. Let dry for a minute so it won’t shift on you. Then put glue on the inside cover and attach the other half of the 8”x4” paper to the cover. This paper is what holds your cover and pages together. You wont be adding glue to the spine.If you want to tie some ribbon onto the spine of the cover now is the time. Next attach the back cover. TADA!! You have assembled your book.

Now cut and decorate the pages! I cut my main page paper 4”x 3.5” this left a little of my binding color showing on each page. After I attached the main page paper I scuffed it with a little brown ink to give the distressed look.

Let me explain the use of my book-One of the family traditions I grew up with was….Christmas morning pictures on the stairs! Now mind you this was before we got to open our stockings and while we were still wearing our new jammies from Christmas Eve. Lets just say mom has a ton of these Christmas morning pictures so this book is going to be our yearly Christmas morning pictures (I know this pic is not from the morning please don’t judge me I messed up on printing the pictures I thought I could crop them down but NO I need to print them in wallet size cause I edited them all and zoomed them in so there was no crop room)

Here is the cover completed!

This is a look at all the fun paper I used.

I love my little book and can’t wait to make more for gifts. Thanks for reading my post and please check out my fun blog Talented Terrace Girls


Wendy Smedley's picture

On the Lookout for Father's Day gift ideas

We are on the lookout for Father's Day gift ideas and so far the favorite DIY picks from the web are...

wooden alphabet block photo holder

free printable card from Cathe Holden

gift packaging
shared by Amy Coon at the Creating Keepsakes blog

What about you? Have you seen any fun ones? Please share in our comments.

Tami Morrison's picture

Got a creative kid?

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and if you’ve got school-aged kids you know that means your scrapbooking time will likely take a backseat to keeping the youngsters amused.

Now that Spring Training has you in top scrapbooking form, it seems a shame to lose your momentum. What you need is a PLAN, disguised as kid-friendly fun, to score you some extra creative time this summer.

That’s where Kidding Around {2} comes in.

Six weeks of cool summer activities and journaling prompts will ensure that if you can’t beat ‘em, you can at least join ‘em in sitting down to record some excellent summertime memories. Plus, it couldn’t hurt to instill the value of memory keeping while the kids are young. These are the people who will be fighting over who gets to proudly display your scrapbooks one day, after all!

Because Ella always has some tricks up her trunk and wants to do everything under the sun to spread the scrapbooking fun, we’re giving away a seat in the hottest summer class for kids! Just leave a comment telling us your favorite summer childhood memory, and we’ll award one lucky reader with a summer full of Kidding Around.

Dive in, we can’t wait to hear what you’ll share!

(p.s. Tune in tomorrow and the rest of the week for JOURNALING WEEK here at Ella. You won't want to miss this!)

Valerie Mangan's picture

Welcome to Baby Week

Happy Tuesday all! Ella friend Valerie here. I’m excited to be kicking off baby week at the Daily Trumpet. What a joyous occasion to celebrate and mark with a keepsake gift. I love making gifts for new babies!  I’m a huge fan of the mini album and I tend to make these the most when it comes to giving a gift for this special occasion.

Here’s a small album I whipped up that has the feel of a little board book:

The design is clean and the concept is simple: a page for a few facts about day 1, then a layout for each month of the baby’s first year.

Each mini layout has space on the left for recording important facts or milestones in that month of the baby’s life. There is space on the right hand page for a small photo or two. Simple and not overwhelming to a new mom, who may also be brand new to the idea of scrapbooking.  A mini like this is a great way to introduce someone to this hobby in a format that might not be familiar to them.  Most people tend to picture expansive 12 x 12 albums when they think of scrapbooking.  Starting off small and simple like this is so much less intimidating.

A simple little mini like this is a great, quick gift that could even be displayed as it is being completed.  I’m sure any new mom would love to receive a little keepsake book like this, and even more excited to be involved in its completion.

Chipboard album (Maya Road) + cardstock (Bazzill) + patterned paper: My Mind’s Eye, Basic Grey + letter stickers (American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin) + stamp (Stampin Up) + ink (Jenni Bowlin) + ribbon (Little Yellow Bicycle) + pin (Tim Holtz) + pearls, tag punch (Martha Stewart) + die cutter (Big Shot)  by Valerie Mangan

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