Psssst, it’s me. Barb. Sssssh... don’t tell Lain or Angie, but I have no idea why they asked me to host a challenge during this week’s Digi Days celebration. I mean, I’m the last person I’d go to for advice on digital scrapbooking. Seriously. My digital skills are limited, to say the least. I know how to edit (crop and color-correct) my photos in Photoshop Elements, but that’s about it.
But anyone who knows me knows I am not the type to go turning down a good challenge. After all, I was the kid who chose to play oboe because the music teacher told the class it was the hardest instrument to master. Without giving it too much thought, I said yes to Lain and Angie.
Fast forward a week, and here I am, writing this blog post about a topic on which I cannot claim to be an expert. Bear with me, okay? ;) I challenged the Ella Friends to create a scrapbook layout using one of Ella's awesome new digital frames, plus at least one other digital element. The page could either be 100% digital or a hybrid of digital and paper. As my inbox started to fill with these wonderful creations, I was in awe of all that was possible in the digital and hybrid scrapping world.
First up is Noel Culbertson’s page, which is 100 percent digital (you go, girl!). Check out the kraft paper and the beautiful white space. I love that it looks so very real, even though it’s a digital page. I’m going to beg Noel for some pointers on how to achieve this look.
The next layout that appeared in my inbox was this one by Moon Ko. She tells me she’s a digital newbie, but I wouldn’t have guessed by looking at her page. I love the simple elegance of the design, just like her paper and glue pages.
Our fearless leader, Lain, created this page for my challenge. She’s a girl after my own heart, with her use of bright colours and her mixing of digital and “real” scrapbooking supplies. The background paper, embellishments and photo were printed out from a digital file, and then she trimmed it down, adhered it to the yellow patterned paper, stamped the zig zag stitching around the edge and added the trim and bling. A great way to cross over between digi and your paper supplies!
Supplies: patterned paper (October Afternoon) + ribbon (Rusty Pickle) + bling (Heidi Swapp) + zig-zag stamp (Kelly Panacci for SandyLion) + "Family" stamp (Katie Pertiet for Autumn Leaves) + ink (VersaMark) + digital patterned papers and elephant stamp (Jodie McNally for Ella Publishing Co. -- coming soon!) + digital frame (Ella Publishing Co.) + 8½ x 11 hybrid page by Lain Ehmann
Next, the ever-talented Monica McNeill sent me this eye-catching hybrid page. She showcased photos from two different eras and made the connection between them. I love how the vintage Polaroid frames help tell the story on this layout. By the way -- digital is a great way to incorporate precious heritage photos into your pages. You don't have to worry about cutting up the only copy of an old picture... you can scan it in and crop away!
Finally, I’ll leave you the hybrid page I created with the very cool masking tape frame that’s part of the awesome prize package we're giving away on Friday. I added a bit of dimension to my digital elements by printing the framed photo twice and hand-cutting the tape from the second print-out and sticking it on top of the tape on the framed photo, just so it looks like it’s popping off the page a bit. I printed the circular star tag the exact size of one of my circle punches so I could punch it out quickly, stick it on top of another punched cardstock circle and ink the edges to give it that finished look.
Supplies: patterned paper (BasicGrey, Scenic Route) + letter stickers, staples, brads (Making Memories) + spiral notebook punch (Stampin’ Up!) + digital frame (Ella Publishing Co.) + digital embellishment (Sande Krieger for 2Peas in a Bucket) + 8½ x 11 hybrid page by Barb Wong
So there you have it! One challenge taken up by five scrapbookers, resulting in five very different pages. I hope you’ll find a bit of inspiration here and take us up on the Digi Days challenge posted on Monday. I love learning from and being inspired by you.
NOTE: Ella thinks Barb did quite a satisfactory job... in fact, we think she's Digi-delightful! :) Thanks, Barb!
I promise, these techniques are not scary, they're not too hard, and they'll open your mind to previously undiscovered worlds. (And you don't have to give up your patterned paper and glue stick stash!)
If you want prenatal steps (instead of baby steps), try Cathy Zielske's Quiz Printables for a bit of hybrid scrapbooking fun. As Cathy's page demonstrates above (as seen on her blog today), these you can just download, print, write on, and glue to a page. OR, if you're an advanced user, open the files in Photoshop and work your magic!
Even the most dedicated paper scrappers (like me) have to admit that the times, they are a'changing... digital is not a passing fad! And instead of fighting the tide, I've decided to embrace change. I'm learning that digital scrapbooking and its sister, digital photo editing, can actually enhance my paper scrapbooking instead of replacing it. The more tools I have in my toolbox, the more options I have for capturing my family's stories.
In that spirit, we'd like to launch this week as Digi Days, an opportunity for all of us to embrace technology and learn some new skills. This won't be a one-time thing -- after all, digi is here to stay! One of our lovely Ella Friends, Barb Wong, has graciously agreed to start things off with a challenge this week.
Here's the deal: Create a digital or hybrid page. In the comments to this post, tell us where we can find your layout. If you post your layout on your blog, leave your blog address. Or post your layout to an online forum (a scrapbook gallery or Flickr or Facebook or...) and give us the link there.You'll have the chance to win a copy of Renee Pearson's new book, Special Effects for Digital Photos, AND a set of our brand-new Retro Digital Frames. If you're already a digital expert, try something new... a new action or product or whatever. Just stretch those wings!
While you're waiting for the winners to be announced we've got some other fun things:
Alright, friends... get scrapping!
We have a winner for Renee Pearson's Collage 101 class... arlamo!
<<I'm definitely picking up this little gem. I recently bought the full version of photoshop and would love to take Renee's class!>>
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
Now... you have a small window of opportunity to win some Ella goodness over at our favorite collective, Write.Click.Scrapbook! We're working on a joint book with them right now, due out later this year. While you're waiting, pop on over before 8 PST and enter to win one of three eBooks. Go now!
Be still, my heart! Ella had a chance to sit down for a little tusk-a-tusk with the Digital Diva, Renee Pearson! Renee wrote the book (literally!) on digital scrapbooking, and she's recently launched the fabulous digital education site, reneepearson.com. She's also the author of our latest eBook, Special Effects for Digital Photos: 10 easy tutorials using Photoshop Elements 7.
Here's what Renee had to say:
Ella: What's your favorite late-night snack?
Renee: Popcorn...morning..noon...or late night!
Ella: I am with you! I LOVE popcorn. Sometimes I even have it for dinner. Lots of fiber, ya know! So, how did you become "the Digital Diva?"
Renee: It was so many years ago it feels like another life. I was actually working in marketing communications and graphic design. When I developed an interest in scrapbooking, it seemed natural to apply my digital design skills to my new hobby.
Ella: Because of all the time you're on your computer, you must do some serious online shopping. What's the last thing you bought?
Renee: Software...something I needed for the website.
Ella: What, no shoes? Alright, I guess business comes first.
Renee: Ha-ha! I’m really not a shoe person...but I adore handbags! I’ve had my eye on a Marc Jacobs beauty for quite some time. When I earn my first million I’m heading for the Marc Jacobs store!
Ella: And I'm not much of a purse girl, what with this TRUNK and all! ;) Tell us, what reading material is on your nightstand right now?
Renee: Oooh! I just finished “The Magician’s Assistant” by Ann Patchett. Loved it. Next up is the new Dan Brown book, “The Lost Symbol.” I’ve been waiting a long time for this sequel to “The DaVinci Code.”
Ella: Good stuff. Speaking of good stuff, you are quite the musical maven. What's your latest musical discovery?
Renee: Salem al Fakir...a Swedish pop/soul sensation.
Ella: I've seen you mention him on your blog before. Thanks for the recommendation! Hey, with everything you have going on, how do you keep track of it all? Do you make a daily to-do list? How many items are typically on it? Is it digital or paper?
Renee: I sure do. It’s actually a rolling list from day to day. It typically has 20 or more items on it. I keep a paper notebook that I work from. There’s just something satisfying about drawing a line through a completed item that can’t be duplicated digitally. My favorite notebooks are the Mnemosyne by Maruman. The paper is a joy to write on.
Ella: I am going to get one IMMEDIATELY. You always have the coolest stuff! And speaking of cool stuff, what one thing do you want people to know about your book?
Renee: That they’re my favorite quick-and-easy tips for giving your photos that extra punch. And they really ARE quick and easy.
...AND A CONTEST (OF COURSE)!
Renee's book is perfect for Photoshop Beginners (like most of the staff here at Ella!). If you're a little more advanced, we've got a great offer for you -- a seat in Renee's Collage 101 class at reneepearson.com, starting in October! Note: This class is rated Intermediate and is best for people with Photoshop experience. Interested? Leave us a comment telling us what digital topics you'd like to see covered in future eBooks! Hurry -- we're drawing a name tomorrow, Sept. 24!
Oh, and by the way... the winner of the Jodie McNally word art is...
<<They were all good tips but I like the first one the best-I've been wanting to do a page like that for awhile and just haven't found the right subjects for it yet!>>
One more thing... We've got a last-minute call for pages for our October Scrapbook Ellaments. We're looking for two pages. Submit your best for either (or both!) of the following:
1. A paper-based page using a premade quote
2. A paper-based page using a premade title
Follow our usual submissions guidelines here. Deadline is Sunday, Sept. 27. at midnight-ish. Winning layouts will receive copies of Jodie McNally's exclusive Ella digital scrapbooking kit, on sale next month!
Digi folks, don't despair -- next week we are focusing on digital all week long, just for you! We've got some cool stuff in store. This is the place to stay up on what's happening, so come back often. We're here daily (except when we're not).
I've always been intimidated at the very thought of selectively colorizing a photo. Silly me. It was SO simple. Thanks to Renee's simple instructions in Photoshop Elements, I doctored this photo in less than 10 minutes. Isn't it sweet? My husband captured this shot on Sunday, while my nephew Derek chomped furiously into an apple. When Derek was through, I think all that was left was a pile of apple seeds sitting on the chair.
This process was also unbelievably easy. Exactly three days ago, I had no idea what a PNG file was and the only layers I'd ever worked with were the ingredients in my mom's famous 7-layer bean dip. But in the last 24 hours, I've used at least five PNG files and even messed around with a Photoshop layer or two, all with great success. And unlike the bean dip, my hands don't smell like onions!
A direct quote from Katy: "Thank you for the Rebecca Cooper eBook. I just love her!" So do we, Katy. So do we.
...For your eBooks, that is! Ella Friend Monica McNeill created this adorable binder for her Ella eBooks. It's so cute (and easy!) that we had to share. Read on for her instructions...
"When I hit the print button on my newly acquired Ella eBooks my life was a bit wild, and I needed a quick, simple solution for storage. We are always on the go so I was looking for something that was portable and easy to keep safe from sticky hands.
All you'll need is a binder and a handful of 8-½ x 11" page protectors.
I had an extra binder around that I picked up on clearance at Target just because it was cute and a stack of letter size page protectors. I simply slipped my Ella eBooks two pages at a time into the page protectors and called it done.
But of course, since I am a scrapper I had to spruce it up just a bit! I dug through my scrap binder and pulled out my Noteworthy card for my Making Memories Slice to whip up a fun label in no time. A little bit of adhesive & a few Making Memories alphas later my thrifty binder had a title. In order to separate the different eBooks I cut a 12x12 piece of Stampin' Up! cardstock into 4-inch strips, hole punched the strips and added them to the binder right before the eBooks.
What I love most is that this can be a permanent or temporary solution. Perhaps after I’ve accumulated a few rounds of Ella releases I’ll decide to bind them. Since I haven’t done anything but slip them into page protectors the possibilities are endless!"
What WE love most is how simple and versatile this project is! For more ideas on where (and how) to house your Ella eBooks, check out our article, "Alter Your eBook." Got other ideas? We'd love to see them!
Also, if you're reading this on Friday the 18th, make sure to pop over to Today's Creative Blog. Not only is Ella Publishing Co. the featured site, we're also giving away a $20 gift certificate to our site!
And these fun peanut sacks (below) will be included in packages we're sending to our Ella Friends to thank them for the hours they've put in promoting and supporting Ella. I found a package of 16 recycled-material gift bags at Target, so I stuffed them with peanuts-in-the-shell, stamped a word on the front, and stapled them closed. Easy! (Let's hope no one is allergic! If so, Ella Friends, consider yourselves warned, and quarantine that package as soon as it arrives!)
Hmmm, I wonder if you'll get something in your mailbox this week?
Nothing big to report, other than another great week in Ella-Land!
And a gratuitous cute baby elephant picture. :)
So, tell us... what do you want to see more of here at Ella Publishing Co.? We're all ears. ;)
Today is the last of our author interviews for this week, and we are thrilled to be chatting with another talented pair, Margaret Scarbrough and Sara Winnick! Their book, Text Tricks for Scrapbookers, is chockful of gorgeous layouts that cause a serious case of scrap-envy... but they're also easy to reinterpret. Scrapbookers of all levels are sure to find inspiration in this great book. Ella was able to catch up with these two busy ladies:
Ella: So, what did you have for breakfast today?
Sara: Applesauce spice bread.
Margaret: Toast with homemade plum jam. Oh, and some Motrin.
Ella: Sounds... well-rounded! Okay, you are both moms... what cartoon character most resembles you or your life?
Margaret: Marge Simpson.
Ella: I think I would look good in a beehive. Let's chat about shopping. What's the last thing you bought online?
Sara: An Ed Emberley book for my kiddos.
Margaret: An Acekard 2i bundled with an 8GB microSD card (nerd alert!)
Ella: Margaret, are you speaking English? I had to look that up! Ed Emberley is much more my style. But I have trouble with the thumbprints. What's the strangest topic you've ever scrapbooked?
Sara: I did a page about my daughter's eyerolling once.
Margaret: ?? I guess I'm pretty conventional.
Ella: What do you want everyone to know about your book?
Sara: The tips we share are easy to integrate into your scrapbooking and don't require "specialty supplies." You can put them to use TODAY!
Margaret: No trees were harmed to make it!
Ella: Last but not least, Hugh, Daniel, or Gerard?
Sara: Mike Winnick. ;)
Margaret: None of the above. James McAvoy is more my cup of tea. :)
Ella: Margaret, have you been talking with Angie?
To celebrate the fun you can have with text, we're giving away a $25 gift certificate to digital word artist Jodie McNally's online store! Wedding, home sweet home, Mother's Day... whatever your occasion or theme, Jodie has a word pack to match.
To win: Check out the Gettin' Jiggy with Text article in our Scrapbook Ellaments eZine and come back here to tell us what tip you like the best, or come up with a text trick of your own and share it in the comments section!
ALSO... Jodie has offered a 20% discount to all Ella readers, for TODAY ONLY. Just use code ella-rocks! at checkout. Hurry -- this offer expires at 11:59 PM CST TONIGHT!
Brenda Acuncius's actions:
Maggie Holmes's actions:
Maggie's photography course:
Email us at email@example.com to claim your prizes!
Today's author focus is on the talented Rebecca Cooper, author of 40 Top Tips for Better Photos. Rebecca's difficult to catch (she's mom to three little ones with another on the way, and she's a professional photographer to boot!) but we elephants have ways of making people talk! (That trunk comes in handy!). We managed to corner her long enough to have her answer our popular Ella questionnaire.
Ella: So, Rebecca, what did you have for breakfast this morning?
Rebecca: Oatmeal today. But on Saturday, I had apple cinnamon waffles, bacon, and orange juice. We usually do a big breakfast on Saturday. It's oatmeal the rest of the week.
Ella: Save me a place at the table next weekend! I'll be there. Okay, what cartoon character do you most resemble?
Rebecca: I have no idea! A short, round one?
Ella: That would be Garfield. I don't know; you seem more the Judy Jetson or Polly Purebred type to me! But hey, I'm not judging... What's the last thing you purchased online?
Rebecca: Webhosting for my new photography site... shhh! Don't tell!
Ella: Our lips are sealed! What's the strangest topic you've ever scrapbooked?
Rebecca: I really haven't done anything too crazy. Taking all three kids grocery shopping AT THE SAME TIME is about as crazy as I get.
Ella: Slow down, swinger!! What do you want everyone to know about your book?
Rebecca: It's so CUTE! And it's got some good photography info in it too!
Ella: And the most important question... Hugh, Daniel, or Gerard?
Rebecca: I'm going to have to go with Hugh.
Whether you've just purchased your first DSLR or you're trying to make the most of your point-and-click, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos will help you make your photos shine! And Rebecca's article, "3-Minute Makeovers," will help you make those great shots even better with tips on how to process your digital images.
But wait! What's a day without a giveaway? We're offering one of two photo action sets to two lucky readers. Fantastic photogs Maggie Holmes and Brenda Acuncius have each graciously offered a pack of their most popular actions (used in Rebecca's article) as prizes. Brenda is offering a full set of 16 actions, valued at $50, and Maggie has donated a set of her three action packs, valued at $70. In addition, Maggie has donated a spot in her upcoming online photography class, a $200 value! All you have to do is leave us a comment and tell us what photography topic you'd most like to read more about. Oh, and you can tell us what you had for breakfast, too!
The winners of yesterday's Obscenely Important Memo pads are:
SherriK (who had a poptart and Diet Coke for breakfast), and
Cupcakemomcolorado (who started her day out right with Raisin Bran!).
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where to send these goodies!
Today, our focus is on Quick and Creative Quizzes by the dynamic duo of Wendy Smedley and Angie Lucas! Since the theme of the day is quizzes, we asked our intrepid authors a few questions about themselves:
Ella: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Angie: I am SO embarrassed to say this: an English muffin with spray butter (to save calories) and a Twinkie. Seriously. I was SO behind on my grocery shopping that my choices were very limited.
Wendy: frosted mini wheats, hey they are full of fiber.
Ella: I can see why you two are friends! Now, what cartoon character or comic would you say most resembles your life?
Angie: Probably the Cathy comic strip, which I believe popularized the "Ack!" exclamation. Also, I love this quote by the cartoonist, Cathy Guisewite: "Each of us wages a private battle each day between the grand fantasies we have for ourselves and what actually happens."
Wendy: I do not know since I do not like cartoons. they kind of scare me!
Ella: I bet you're afraid of clowns, too. Moving on... what's the last thing you purchased online?
Angie: I wish I could say it was more exciting than printer ink.
Ella: I'm sorry about Ruby. I have a soft spot for large, slobbery dogs. Okay, we're almost done... what's the weirdest thing you've ever scrapped about?
Angie: The "squatter" toilets we encountered during my post-college tour of Europe.
Wendy: oh boy, hmm... that is very subjective! I think my favorite brand of soup was the oddest.
Ella: Strangeness, indeed! Final question... what do you want people to know about your book?
Angie: The quizzes in Quick and Creative Quizzes are completely original and utterly charming. You'll really love them, and you'll be inspired to capture the facets of your life that you may or may not have thought to capture on paper before. My favorite is the "Compliments Quiz."
Wendy: It is fun to complete quizzes about others and yourself. You will enjoy yourself immensely!
Ella: Oh, and one last question... Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, or Gerard Butler?
Angie: I'll take B and C please, with a side of James McAvoy. (There, I believe I have all of the British Isles covered.)
Wendy: Hugh Jackman, no questions asked.
We're giving away two today... all you have to do to win is to answer question #1 above: What did YOU have for breakfast today? We'll post two winners tomorrow!
And speaking of winners... the winner of the Epson Artisan 710 all-in-one printer is
<<I'll definitely plan to spend a lot of time here! Well done, ladies! Well done!>>
Digitiffy, email us at email@example.com with your shipping address and we'll get your new printer out to you!
More prizes and fun this week, so come back tomorrow when Ella talks with Rebecca Cooper!
Yes, indeedy—today's the day! Please say "Hello" to the Scrapbook Ellaments eZine! Here you'll find inspiration, education, and more than a few dorky jokes. (We just can't help ourselves!)
Here's what you get to do:
Pop on over to the eZine zone (we just made that up), read the articles (you can see the table of contents on the left), rate them using our patented peanut system, and come back here to tell us what you liked.
Why bother? Because you can win a fabulous prize, of course! (Also, it's good karma.)
An Epson Artisan 710 all-in-one printer! We love our Epson printers, and we know you will, too.
So go to it, children! And don't forget to come back tomorrow for more fun and games.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...It's the event you've all been waiting for—the Grand Opening Ellabration! Cue the circus music and hit the spotlight! All eyes on the center ring!
If you're new, welcome. If you’re back for a repeat visit, well, that welcome goes double for you! This week, we’re pleased to greet you with fun, prizes, and lots of inspiration. Each day, stop by here first to see what’s happening. Here’s the scoop on what you can expect:
Monday (today): Happy Labor Day! Whether you’re working or slacking (or doing a combo of the two), we’ve got lots of chances to win! Visit one of our partner sites listed below, do what they tell you to, and enter to win a free eBook of your choice.
Tuesday: Scrapbook Ellaments eZine launch! Check out our new online magazine, then swing back here to tell us what you liked best. You can win an Epson Artisan 710 printer!
Wednesday: Focus on Quick and Creative Quizzes by Wendy Smedley and Angie Lucas! Win fun quiz-related goodies.
Thursday: Focus on 40 Top Tips for Better Photos by Rebecca Cooper! Win Rebecca's favorite photo actions.
Friday: Focus on Text Tricks for Scrapbookers by Margaret Scarbrough and Sara Winnick! Win digital word art by Jody McNally and other goodies.
Saturday: GRAND PRIZE DRAWING! Win a year's worth of free eBooks just by signing up for our mailing list!
But before all that happens, make sure to swing by these blogs TODAY:
We're so glad you're here! This website marks the culmination of months of effort and anticipation—and more than a few emotional moments, but we promise to keep our hysterical tears to ourselves. We can hardly believe it's real. We hope you'll come right in, kick off your shoes, and make yourself at home.
~Angie and Lain,