Ella's picture

TV Challenges: Done!

Thanks to Katie for such a fun challenge. Really unique content ideas and some good tips were shared throughout this seven week challenge. The layouts created were unique, just like the challenges were. Giveaways shared below.

Weekly eBook awarded to:

Week 1 Smbradford

Week 2 Goldnuggt

Week 3  ToodyMouse

Week 4 Smbradford

Week 5 goldnuggt

Week 6 Scrapperann

Week 7 Millerkimberlyann

Thanks one and all!!
and now...
the grand giveaway goes to
Agata Dag

Next time you are planning scrapbook pages consider the list and sketches below.

TV Topics

* Follow Katie's lead and scrapbook directly about a favorite TV show.
* Compare your current family or the family you grew up in to a famous TV family (the Huxtables, the Bradys, the Bundys)
* Create a page showcasing the movies you loved as a kid, compared with the movies your kids love most
* Create a page listing the movies you've watched over and over again (Dirty Dancing? Pride & Prejudice? UP?)
* Document a chronological list of your favorite shows from different eras of your life (from The Andy Griffith Show to The Office)
* Scrapbook about a recent night out to the movies. Who went, what did you see, what snacks did you buy, what did the total bill come to?

Seven sketches that Ella friend Barb Wong made based on Katie's layouts

Until we start up another challenge...
Ella's picture

Enjoy National Scrapbook Day

Hope all you awesome Ella readers have exciting plans for this holiday. We are recommending you stop by and visit some of our friends in the industry and check out what they are doing.

Make sure and check out these awesome National Scrapbook day happenings.

Creating Keepsakes magazine


Studio Calico



Big Picture Scrapbooking



Designer Digitals

AND, to help inspire you as you attend an online or in-person event for National Scrapbook Day, Ella is offering you a special deal this weekend only. Buy two eBooks (a minimum purchase of $10.98), and get a third eBook (up to $5.99 value) for FREE! Place all three of your chosen eBooks in your cart, and use the code MAYFIRST at checkout to redeem. Offer expires May 2 at midnight PST, so hurry! Shop now.

Be back later today with the TV challenge grand prize winner!
Ella's picture

Product play: Design House Digital part 1

Today we have paired up with a digital scrapbooking company, Design House Digital, to inform you and get you all excited about everything that digital has to offer.

Design House Digital is a site dedicated to learning, creating, and sharing. This site is for all who want to preserve their memories and stories in meaningful ways. There are no pre-conceived notions of who you have to be or what your memories have to look like. Digital scrapbooking is more than just scrapbooking on a computer, it’s telling stories in any style you want those stories to be told. There are no boundaries here, only possibilities!

Ella friend, Noel Culbertson created three projects. Aren't they adorable?!

This layout used the  Authentic Kit.

Noel couldn't resist the name and style of the Daisy Jane Kits, which have a fun retro flair.

And for her last layout, she used the Vanity Fair Kit, and she's thrilled with the results.

Noel's take on the site, "I found the selection of papers at Design House Digital to be fantastically varied, with loads that fit 'my style.' The site was easy to navigate, with a classy layout. I did wish that there were a few more embellishment options for each kit...hopefully there will be in the future! Additional options aside, I enjoyed playing with the wonderful designs from the seriously talented designers."

For some useful digital information worth your time check these out
digi terms
how to download a digital kit
creating a digi layout

Come back next Wednesday for more from Design House Digital!
Wendy Smedley's picture

Schedule time for fun

{ discovery no.18 } don’t forget to have fun

“Regularly having fun is one of the five central factors in leading a satisfied life. Individuals who spend time just having fun are 20 percent more likely to feel happy on a daily basis and 36 percent more likely to feel comfortable with their age and stage in life.”

This layout is based (and the text above is from) on secret #18 from the eBook, 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers. It seems easy enough, have fun, but for some of us task driven women this can be a challenge. I know it is for me. So how do we have fun? If this question is hard to answer for yourself, then you, like me, need to figure it out and make time for it!

a few things I do for fun
  • listen to favorite podcasts like the Moth and Wiretap
  • visit with friends at the neighborhood pool
  • visit my favorite funny blogs
  • play games with the kids
  • camp and enjoy nature
  • complete decorating projects
  • scrapbook, of course
  • hang out with friends
  • chat with friends
  • reminisce with my family
  • go to movies with my man
  • go on shopping adventures with friends
  • walk through beautiful gardens

Make a list of what you do for fun, then photograph some of those items and make a layout. Simple really, remember it is important to document yourself.

Supplies: letter stickers (AMerican Crafts) + border stickers and flower (Sassafras Lass) + + sticker (Little Yellow Bicycle) + Tuffy font
Wendy Smedley's picture

Just in Case You Missed It

You still have a chance to enter to win a $50 gift certificate from scrapbook.com!

As described (and demonstrated) in the previous blog post, just create a single layout inspired by a favorite movie or television show, and upload it to this gallery at Scrapbook.com by Thursday, April 29, and MAKE SURE you tag it "Ella TV challenge"!

Here are a few page ideas:
* Follow Katie's lead and scrapbook directly about a favorite TV show.
* Compare your current family or the family you grew up in to a famous TV family (the Huxtables, the Bradys, the Bundys)
* Create a page showcasing the movies you loved as a kid, compared with the movies your kids love most
* Create a page listing the movies you've watched over and over again (Dirty Dancing? Pride & Prejudice? UP?)
* Document a chronological list of your favorite shows from different eras of your life (from The Andy Griffith Show to The Office)
* Scrapbook about a recent night out to the movies. Who went, what did you see, what snacks did you buy, what did the total bill come to?

We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery this week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner from all seven weeks of Katie Scott's TV Challenges (including this week's entries) who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com.

(To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)
Katie Scott's picture

TV Challenges: Final Week!

Parting is such sweet sorrow! Today is my last day of blog hosting. This year LOST is in its final year, and I've watched since the pilot episode. I probably would have given up for pure confusion somewhere along the way, but one of my classmates from high school, Melinda Hsu Taylor, is a writer on the show, so I feel obligated to finish it out. I'm sure Melinda will tie it all together for us (I hope).

I am often heartbroken when a favorite tv series ends, like The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Six Feet Under, or my favorite show of all time: Northern Exposure. The end is so sad, I think, because it means that you won't get to have that special time with your favorite show anymore.

Fortunately for me, time has passed since the end of Northern Exposure, my husband has never seen the series, and modern technology has made it possible to watch just about any show anytime you want. We are planning to watch the full series of Northern Exposure over the summer, when all the current shows are over and sweeps months are gone and there is almost nothing to watch. We'll pick it up on hulu.com or on dvds. I think it will be like visiting with an old friend; it will probably remind me of what was going on in my life when I watched it the first go-round. I used Google's image search and Picassa's collage maker to make this page:

journaling: "Quite possibly my favorite show of all time. Quirky characters, northern small town life that I could completely identify with having grown up in a small town in Maine; big life questions seasoned with silly situations. I brought Mac to see snow for the first time this year & since Charlie has never seen this show we plan to watch the series on hulu in the summer this year. - Katie 2010."
I should have included in the journaling that after 22 years of living in Florida, I am finally starting to miss the snow. And that my Dad made me get my hunting license when I was 16 so he could have an extra spot in the Maine Moose Lottery, which he won two times. (Thankfully not under my name, which saved me from actually having to go moose hunting!) And that I have a long-time big, giant crush on John Corbett (also My Big Fat Greek Wedding & Sex in the City) who played Chris the radio DJ on the show. And that I met his girlfriend Bo Derek a few years ago at a Big Cat fundraiser. But that all didn't fit into the design I had in mind for the page.
I love working with a Theme and then creating a series of pages around that theme, because it allows me to come up with ideas I probably wouldn't have otherwise. It also helps me to connect with memories that I want to share. The Ella friends recently had an online conversation about how technology has changed over time, and that spurred so many emails and memories about the telephone. I think I could probably create at least seven layouts from the ideas and memories that conversation gave me.
Week 7 Challenge: Scrapbook your favorite TV show or movie. You could also do a top ten, but challenge yourself to choose just one. Or scrapbook about where you were when a big TV event occurred, like the death of Princess Diana or 911 or something else that we all saw on TV and instantly remember where we were. I'd love to see your pages! Please share.

Barb shares her talents with us by making a sketch for us.

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner NEXT WEEK from all seven weeks of TV Challenges who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com! To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)
Angie Lucas's picture

Fun Facts

And now for a few fun facts about Ella Publishing Co.'s latest book release, Picture Perfect: 129 expert tips for shooting stellar portraits, which had its big debut yesterday!

It's authored by well-known scrapbookers (and family photographers) Elisha Snow, Becky Novaceck, and Kelly Noel.

All of these super-talented women have their own blogs, where they share the photos they take of their family and their clients:
Elisha's blog
Becky's blog
Kelly's blog

Elisha had two sons when she started writing this book, but she has since welcomed her third son, Myles.

We didn't have a specific topic in mind when we invited the three photographers to be a part of the eBook, we just knew we wanted to work with each of them.

It took us roughly 18 weeks to narrow down the topic, select photos, write the tips, and have the eBook edited and designed.

This eBook is focused specifically on taking still or posed portraits of people, while Rebecca Cooper's eBook, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos, is focused mostly on everyday photography and candid shots.

Picture Perfect has more specific DSLR tips and advice than 40 Top Tips, although both eBooks are highly relevant and helpful to people who have point-and-shoot models.

You DO need to have both of these eBooks in your library, because they complement each other and do not overlap in content. :-)

Leave us a comment today, and we'll pick two winners who'll get a free copy of Picture Perfect or 40 Top Tips!
Donna Jannuzzi's picture

More Stretching, your sketches that is

In the introduction to my eBook Stretch Your Sketches I talk a little about my love of sketches.  I have used sketches ever since I started scrapbooking a little over three years ago.  They are an essential part of my creative process – I cannot make a layout without one.  One of the goals of my book is to teach scrapbookers how to get the most from sketches and their own layout designs.

I have mentioned this before, but one reason that I love sketches so much is because I tend to take a long time selecting products.  For me that is the fun part of the process.  I save time by having a design in mind before I start working, which allows me a little more time to play with different papers and embellishments during the creative process.  Sketches set the foundation for my page; they give me an idea of where I will place my photos, title and journaling. From there I let the photos and the story be my guide when choosing papers, embellishments and their placement.

Today I want to share with you two layouts that both started from the same sketch.  When seen side-by-side the similarities between the two layouts are obvious.  But these layouts won’t be in an album side-by-side and by using a sketch and applying a simple principle to “stretch” my sketch I was able to create two layouts that I love easily and quickly.

Here is the sketch that I started with, it is a simple single photo design and featuring a 4x6 photo:

Here is the layout I created using that sketch:


I want to take a moment here to thank my sister Deborah for allowing me to post her photo here.  I know that the time spent in the hospital after giving birth is not when most woman feel particularly attractive.  But really, few things are more beautiful than a happy family.

In order to stretch this sketch, I simply replaced the single 4x6 photo with two 3x4’s:

and here is the layout I made from this sketch:

I think it is nearly impossible to get two children under the age of 4 to both look into the camera at the same time.  I couldn’t choose just one photo from the set we took at church on Easter Sunday.  So instead I chose the best one with Gabe making eye-contact and one with Nathan making eye-contact.  I figured the two photos average each other out.  That works, right?

This is just one example of the many tips and techniques outlined in my eBook.  Whether you love sketches as much as I do or you just need a little creative push every now and then to get you going I think you’ll find Stretch your Sketches to be a great resource for teaching you how to get the most from your sketches.


And just like in my eBook here are some bonus sketches to help spark your creativity:

Because I can never pick just one favorite photo:


Inspired by a Container Store Ad in Real Simple Magazine:

Because I *love* trios of photos:

Have fun stretching!

And if you leave a comment on this post, I'll pick a random winner who will get a free copy of my eBook. Let's hear it!
Ella's picture

So Many Winners!

For all our myriad contests we've held in the recent past, we've selected several winners and notified them, sometimes forgetting to notify YOU that winners were selected. And after we got a couple of emails asking about the winners of certain exciting contests, we realized we need to do a better job of making our winners' names public.

So, please enjoy a comprehensive list of recent but as-yet-unannounced winners!

The Quick & Creative Quizzes winners from last week are: charmi.shah and Janice D-P
(I picked two winners because we had such a nice, large number of entries on Tuesday's post!)

The winner of the Anna Aspnes class on reneepearson.com was: pmnbunn

The most recent Katie Scott TV Challenge winners have been...
Week 5 was goldnuggt (see her layout here)
Week 4 was smbradford (see her layout here)

The Studio Calico Patchwork Kit winner from last month was: Valerie_am

The My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary winner from last month was: Jennifer Barksdale

All winners have been contacted directly. Congrats everyone! Keep checking back for more great contests.
Katie Scott's picture

TV Challenges: Week 6

If you've been following along, every Friday on The Daily Trumpet, we've been talking about TV Theme inspired scrapbook layouts and the Process of Scrapbooking and what inspires you to start a scrapbooking layout. Guess which approach (photo, story, product, or design) I used on today's layout?

supplies: patterned paper (Sassafrass, Cosmo Cricket, K&Company) + font (Cambria).
journaling: "Wii - Mac - Allison - Nixon: Since we got the wii - these three are the best of friends and were thrilled when we decided to get a third game player thing; that television set is now called the "Wii TV!"
Here are your choices for the inspiration for this page:
1. Photo First Approach: The picture in the layout today I took by standing in front of the tv and taking the TV's view of my family as they were watching (or in this case playing). So how did I get the kids to smile when I was standing in front of the TV?!? I told them I wasn't going to move until they all smiled! It worked like a charm, and I had this adorable picture of my kids and their cousin!
2. Story First Approach: I wanted to tell a story about my kids and how they are becoming so close to their cousin. Lately Nixon has been coming over to play the Wii with my kids and we've had several play dates that look just like this! I also wanted to tell the story about how one of our television is no longer used as a tv but as a Wii playing station.
3. Product First Approach: This Sassafrass patterned paper reminded me so much of the Wii SuperMario games that my kids play that I just had to use it on a layout! I love to cut out images from products that my kids have (like this Mario image from a package insert).  I had to cut this one out with kid scissors, because the good scissors in my scrapbooking space seem to have legs, and they walk all over the house all by themselves. Imagine that!
4. Design First Approach: Wendy Smedley had a blog post after CHA about a trend she liked that included 8 1/2 x 11 layouts with everything down the center of the page; I've been making layouts like this ever since I saw her trend-spotting blog post!
Leave a comment with your guess about what approach I used to make this page!
Week 6 Challenge:
  Make a scrapbook layout using the approach you use the least often. For example, if you are a story-first scrapbooker, try picking out a new product you've been wanting to use and start there first. Or if you are a photo-first girl, try picking a design you like and then finding the photos to fit into the design of the page. Please share your pages with us and let us know whether you found this exercise frustrating or refreshing!

Thanks Barb for another great sketch!

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner at the end of the 7 weeks who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com! To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)
Linda Barber's picture

Blog inspired layouts

Apparently I’m the only scrapper without a blog, or so I’ve been told by some of my scrappy friends. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy blogs. Sometimes, I spend lots and lots of time reading them. Just ask my kids. (On second thought, don’t!)

Blogs are such a wonderful source of inspiration for me. But they are also a source for confusion. After reading too many blogs, my mind starts to spin with all that information. I end up feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities. And instead of being creative, I just want some tea, cake and a nap.

So I’ve set myself a little rule for blog reading: read a max of ten blogs a week. Yup. Ten. And I try to stick to only one or two posts per blog. Sounds crazy, because really, there is so much stuff out there to read and absorb. But now that I’ve put that myself under blog restriction, I feel like I’m getting much more out of them.

As I was thinking about this post, it occurred to me that while I’ve used blogs for sketch ideas, theme inspiration, titles, color combos, etc, I hadn’t created a layout about a blog itself! If any blog is deserving of a layout from yours truly, it’s the Smitten Kitchen. Its recipes are regular staples in my kitchen, and my family heartily approves of them all.

Because I’ve been trying to take photos daily (you can see my not-so-daily efforts on Flickr, I sometimes pull out my iPhone and document my dinner creations. The photos are blurry, and I usually have to yell at my family to leave the food alone, but they are a great peek into my daily life.

supplies: patterned papers: Cosmo Cricket, Studio Calico + alpha stickers and flair: American Crafts + corner rounder: Creative Memories + Polaroid frames: Shakeitphoto.com

I’ve also asked two of my friend (both of whom have blogs!) to scrap about their favorite blogs, and how it inspires them.

First is a layout filled with seriously cool details by Jenn Olson. Jenn says: “My favorite blog these days is Knock Off Wood. I find myself hooked on all the cool projects people make from her plans—it’s better than celebrity gossip!! I used some different wood grains, little pieces of veneer & even some screws to drive my ‘theme’. (I wanted to use nails—but do you think I could find any laying around—of course not!)”

supplies: Patterned papers:Studio Calico, Cosmo Cricket + fabrips, labels & woodgrain alpha: Studio Calico + small alpha: Making Memories + gaffer tape: 7gypsies

And a sweet and happy layout by Cindy Liebel. Cindy was inspired by artwork in the blog Rae Dunn: “I've been a fan of Rae Dunn's ceramic artwork for quite sometime now. I find her pieces thought provoking, and every simple detail is mesmerizing! I love how she adds just enough color to the all white, natural ceramic pieces. The impressions of her fingers is beautifully shown, which makes me love them even more. Perfection! I was totally inspired by her designs to create my layout. To get the same embossed look in her ceramic pieces onto my page, I used my letterpress to create the framing surrounding my photo. It added texture to the page along with the bold colors and a splash of red accents.”

supplies: pattern papers, craft alpha stickers & button: Jillibean Soup + embossed cardstock flowers: Bazzill + printing plates & inks: Quickutz Letterpress + rubons: American Crafts + label stickers: 7Gypsies + deco brads: Making Memories + pearls: Doodlebug + corner rounder: Fiskars

Well thanks for reading and why don't you scrap something inspired from your favorite blog?
Angie Lucas's picture

Quiz Time

A quiz is truly the best journaling shortcut I know. And a good quiz can also spark stories, ideas, and insights that you might never think to record if you hadn't been asked. With that idea in mind, I decided to create an ongoing album last year to capture my life at age 33. I wrote a fun quiz just for this purpose, and answered the same questions on the last day of each month for an entire year. (My birthday is March 31, so it made sense for me to choose the last day of the month, but you really can choose any day of the month you wish.) To see the steps for creating an album link this of your own, check out my blog today.

Here's what the quiz itself looks like:

To download this exact quiz in pdf form, simply click here.

To see six months of completed pages featuring this quiz, large enough for you to read the journaling, visit my blog today!

And to win a FREE copy of Quick & Creative Quizzes, an eBook containing about a dozen completely unique (and fun!) quizzes like this one (including a recurring quiz or two), just leave a comment on this post!

Katie Scott's picture

Ella TV Challenge: Week 5

As you've been playing along with making TV Theme inspired scrapbook layouts, have you noticed what type of approach you are using when starting a page—story, photo, product or design? (Read the discussion from Week 1  to refresh your memory.) Please let us know what approach to scrapbooking you usually use and what type you use if you have a challenge to respond to. Are they the same or different?
This next layout was picture first. I had these great photos of my kids at the library, and I wanted to use them on a page right now because I just got them back from my photo printer. My challenge was how to incorporate pictures of my kids reading into the TV Theme? The TV Theme gave me my journaling inspiration:

supplies: patterned paper (Die Cuts With a View) + cardstock + letters (Cosmo Cricket).
Journaling: "It makes me so very happy that with all the dvds + tivo + wii + computers that the two of you are growing up with, that an afternoon at the library with good old-fashioned books can be so attention grabbing and fun for the two of you. - Mommy 2/10"
Week 5 Challenge: Create a page about how you feel about the amount of time or the types of shows you or your children are watching. Please share your layouts so we can all take a look!

Barb created a sketch for us, thanks Barb!

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner at the end of the 7 weeks who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com! To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)
Katrina_Simeck's picture

Creativity - read all about it!

We invited Ella Friend Katrina Simeck to guest blog today about her favorite creative influences. Check back on the next few Thursdays as other Ella Friends tackle the creativity topic. Take it away, Katrina!

I have loved to read ever since, well...I learned how to read. I would get lost for hours with tales of people and places. My love of fiction waned over the years, and I began to pick up "how-to" books more often. How to cook, garden, take photographs, become a millionaire (need to read that one again), succeed in business...you get the drift. Fiction can be imaginative, but how-to can be rewarding. Somewhere in the middle is inspiring. These days, when I need a creative nudge, I pick up a book. Sometimes, the words inspire a project. Sometimes they merely inspire a thought. Either way? Helloooo creativity! Favorites, old & new...

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This book made the rounds of the scrapbooking community several years ago. Totally inspiring either as an album project, or even just a single page.

The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder by Jill Badonsky

Such a fun source of daily prompts & inspiration (and fun art, too!).

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Wouldn't this make a great mini-album? I started reading the author's blog a few months ago, and find myself "seeing" little things that I'd like to document as being awesome in my life. For example, I'm planning to create an ode-to-my-blackberry layout (alternate title - the love of my life).

And, last but certainly not least...a current inspiring fave...
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I happened to read this book at the same time that I started reading the Awesome guy's blog. The combination definitely lit a creative spark!

With all this inspiration at my fingertips, I've started capturing images of things that make me happy...simply dubbed "Happy Things." It's a work in progress, with each page digitally designed for consistency & ease. Interestingly, several pages are about food. Hmmm. Not sure how that happened!

Need one more suggestion for your creativity reading list? It's right here at Ella...Stacy Julian's ebook...UR2 Cre8ive. Enjoy!

Ella's picture

Wednesday Giveaway by Renee

Renee Pearson of reneepearson.com has generously offered to give away a spot in an upcoming class!

Album Magic: A step by step course in album creation

If you’re comfortable creating complete 12 x 12 digital pages but the idea of creating a cohesive album based on a single theme sends you running in the opposite direction, then this class is for you! Anna Aspnes demystifies album creation and leads you, one step at a time, through her own tried and tested process that will have you planning and executing albums over and over in record time.

Read all about the class by clicking here!

Leave us a comment today (topic: what kind of computer do you use at home?), and we'll pick one winner who'll get a free spot in this class!

(The winner of yesterday's drawing for 40 Top Tips for Better Photos is JoMama. Congratulations!)
Rebecca Cooper's picture

Take Better Everyday Photos!

My eBook, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos, is all about the fact that you don't have to have perfect conditions to take important, meaningful photos. It's packed with helpful ideas for improving your everyday photography. Here are a few more illustrations of that!

In the hospital, no one can expect great light or scenery. But when your reason for visiting the hospital is as precious as this one, then you absolutely have to take pictures anyway. I simply used what I had on hand (a white blanket) to snap this picture of my sleepy new baby, Alivia. Even in low-light conditions, I got a keeper of a shot. (Image specs: Canon 5D Mk II, 50 mm 1/4 lens, f2.2, 640 ISO, 1/100 shutter speed)

I converted the picture to black-and-white, and used it on this layout, featuring her birth stats.

Here's a shot I took on just a regular day. Because of how I placed my  subject (away from the the bookshelf background) and my camera settings, the bookshelf is blurred enough that little Alivia still stands out. This photo was also taken in Winter in low light conditions, which called for a high ISO.  (Image specs: Canon 5D Mk II, 50 mm 1/4 lens, f3.2, 640 ISO, 1/100 shutter speed)

I'm here to tell you that you really can improve your photography little by little. Just practice a lot, and take baby steps toward mastering one new trick at a time. And my eBook can help you on your journey to better everyday photos and more confidence in your camera!

Thanks Rebecca! For more of her fabulous photography and crafty sensibilities, visit her blog. And leave a comment here on this post for your chance to win a free copy of this amazing eBook!
Angie Lucas's picture

Winners and Page Calls

Houston, we have three winners!

Random.org chose commenters #25 and #19 for our Daylight Lamp giveaway, which means "SueinMtVernon" won the tabletop lamp, and "Tanyanjazz" won the portable lamp. Ladies, you are going to LOVE your prizes.

And then, in a surprise turn of events, Random.org also chose commenter #19 in our Clickin' Moms giveaway, which means "gardengirl" (aka Donna) has won a membership to this cool photography site.

Thanks for entering, everyone!

And speaking of entering, we have another cover contest happening this week. If you'd like a chance to be featured on the cover of our May eZine, click here for details and email us a layout by Friday, April 9! (The theme is layouts about trips to the zoo, to the circus, to the park, birthday parties, family events, school plays, etc.)

Here are a few past reader-submitted cover layouts! (Click on any of the covers to read the artist profiles.)

Jennifer Barksdale

Lisa Kisch

Rosemary Morrison

I think YOU are next!
Katie Scott's picture

TV Challenges: Week 4

We interrupt Ella's TV themed scrapbooking pages for a commercial break!

Even with TIVO and DVR, we all still watch commercials now and then, right? We all have our favorites and the ones we can't stand to watch. A couple weeks ago, I was telling my daughter about that Wendy's commerical from the '80s "Where's The Beef." I found it on youtube.com and showed it to her; you can find just about any commercial you can think of on youtube.com!
My kids LOVE the Geico commercials. I can see the appeal, but my job as a personal-injury attorney puts me at odds with the well-spoken, funny, and cute little gecko. Regardless, I couldn't resist taking pictures of my kids at the Gulfport, Florida Gecko Fest with their Geico masks on. Too funny!

Barb made us a sketch!

supplies: cardstock + letters (Martha Stewart).
Journaling: "My kids love the Geico commercials + were thrilled to wear the Gecko masks. *My job gives me a love/hate relationship with Geico."
Week 4 Challenge:
Make a layout inspired by a commercial or print ad, or choose a title that's a pun on a popular advertising catchphrase, or incorporate the words "brought to you by" or  some other familiar adverstising lingo. 

Thanks Barb for the sketch!

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner at the end of the 7 weeks who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com! To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)

eBook giveaways awarded to the three below

Week 1 Smbradford

Week 2 Goldnuggt

Week 3 ToodyMouse

Thanks for playing along.
Angie Lucas's picture

See the Light! Thursday Giveaway

After the CHA-Winter tradeshow, the Daylight company generously offered to send Wendy and I review models of two new lamps we saw at the show. I have to say that I have seen the light about one fact in particular: light quality does make a difference to my creativity, motivation, and color perception.

I had the Daylight Table Top lamp to test in my home. The light was even, natural, and it flooded a surprisingly large space. Wendy Smedley, Elizabeth Dillow, and I crowded into my family room last weekend during a girls-only sleepover, and we all had plenty of light (from just one lamp) to paint our canvases for an art project! (To see our finished projects, visit my blog sometime in the upcoming week.)

The lamp is off in this shot. We're relying on the uneven overhead lights, which cast strong shadows.

The limits of my photography skills aside, you can see how clear and natural the light is. What you can't see is how large an area it lights.

Here's another view, this time showing an optional magnifying attachment arm, which is covered by a white fabric cloth. I had everything out of the box, set up and working within 5 minutes.

Here's the optional magnifying arm. You can attach it or not; it's up to you.

And here's an image from the Daylight website that better shows the scale of the lamp.

I'm used to working underneath an old artists' lamp, circa 1986. (It looks exactly like the lamp in the Pixar logo that hops into place at the beginning of any Pixar film.) The light it casts is very yellow, and it gets so hot that I'm surprised I haven't caught on fire yet. So the difference was amazing! The Lucas household is hooked.

And as for the Smedley household, they're on board as well. Wendy was able to try out the Twist Portable Lamp, which is small and compact and easy to take to crops or move from room to room in your house. It would be great to take to a crop as well (as long as there's an available power outlet) to help combat the unpleasant fluorescent light at many crop venues.

This image, borrowed from the Daylight website, shows the lamp itself better than I could. (You can clearly see how you can angle the lamp to light up your workspace, and how it folds into a tube for easy transportation.) But I did take some illuminating photos of a layout Wendy recently created.

The lamp is off in this picture. But isn't the layout adorable, nonetheless? The journaling says, "I forget you are nine years old SOMETIMES. I know that seems silly, but after all, you do have four older brothers, and they are all teenagers. You know the newest lines from The Office and have a vast knowledge of popular music. I reguse to let you have your own email address or Facebook page until you are older, even though you ask regularly. I do try to do things with you that are age appropriate and sometimes it is just you, me, and dad heading to the park. For now I try to balance the big kid stuff with enough fun stuff for your age because I do not want you to grow up too fast."

Now we'll shed some nice, natural-looking light on the subject. The colors of the layout in this picture are far more true.

Are you convinced? Well, the Daylight Company is offering to give one of each lamp away to a lucky Ella reader! Just leave a comment letting us know what kind of light you use in your scrapbooking (recessed, chandelier, fluorescent, floor lamp, table-top lamp, etc.), and we'll pick two random winners to receive either the Daylight Twist Portable Lamp ($74.99) or the Daylight Table Top Lamp, with magnifier ($129.99). Let's hear it!

p.s. You can still comment on yesterday's giveaway until midnight, April 1! I'll announce winners for both contests on Monday.