Ella's picture

Carol Strine: 8 is Enough Winner #7

Congratulations to Carol Strine, our February winner in the 8 is Enough contest, sponsored by Ella and Studio Calico! We loved Carol's diverse mix of products, the variation between single pages and spreads, and the fact that all of her layouts are multi-photo pages—something our readers ask for quite frequently!

Here are Carol's chosen supplies:

1.) Alphabet Clear Stamps (Martha Stewart)
2.) One Package Rub-On Transfers (K.I. Memories, Juicy Summer)
3.) Journaling Stencil (Target)
4.) One package Alphabet Stickers (Chatter Box, Brown)
5.) One sheet green floral paper (Making Memories, Neutrals)
6.) One sheet printed cardstock (K.I. Memories, Friendship)
7.) One sheet black floral Paper (Making Memories, 5th Avenue)
8.) One sheet starburst paper, double sided (K.I. Memories, Pop Culture)

Carol says, "My first layout is a double page fisherman spread. The added supplies I used were kraft cardstock, blue cardstock and white cardstock, stamping ink, adhesive foam and a journaling pen."

"My second layout is called The Dedication. The added supplies I used were black cardstock, ivory cardstock, black stamping ink, adhesive foam and a journaling pen. I scanned the dedication page from my son's report and added it to the bottom of the layout."

"The third layout is called The Inner Harbor. The added supplies I used were pink cardstock, white cardstock, blue stamping ink and journaling pens. I used scraps of patterned paper to create a banner at the top of the page. I also used my journaling pens to draw a double-lined border and doodle flourishes around the layout."

"The fourth layout is called So Happy Together. The added supplies I used were kraft cardstock, white cardstock, staples, black stamping ink and a journaling pen."

Carol's conclusion: "I thoroughly enjoy these challenges, and have tried the Eight is Enough challenge twice! I have found after doing a few limited supply layouts that the hardest part of the entire process is selecting 8 supplies that can be used in various ways. But after that, it's a breeze."

Carol has won...

A complete monthly kit from Studio Calico and a $15 gift certificate to Ella Publishing Co.

Now it's Your Turn

We hereby challenge you to come up with your own list of eight items from your stash of supplies and to stretch your list into four great layouts. (Absolutely no shopping allowed.) Make sure you include a mix of papers, accents, tools, and alphabets—whether stamps, die-cuts, or stickers. You can only use the items on your list, but cardstock, fonts, and standard tools (such as trimmers, journaling pens, or a sewing machine) are freebies.


When you’re done, e-mail us pictures of all four of your layouts (each sized to 800 pixels tall maximum), plus a picture of your eight original supplies, and an explanation of how you stretched each layout. We'll pick just ONE MORE WINNER, at the end of March. All entries must be received by March 21, 2011. (Previously submitted entries are still in the running.) E-mail questions and entries to submissions@ellapublishing.com, with “Eight is Enough” in the subject line.

Note: Interested in our past winners? Here are the links: Alexa Gill, Marie Pilgrim, Sara Benzkofer, Shelly Jaquet, Jennifer Alfonso, and Leah Allen. And check out former Ella Friend Barb Wong, who is trying the "8 is Enough" challenge herself, and posting the results on her blog.

Valerie Mangan's picture

In Stitches: Faux sewing on scrapbook pages

Welcome to the final installment of "In Stitches," where we're sharing the various ways Ella friends Brenda Johnston, Jennifer Larson, and I add stitching to our projects. Click on any of the images below for a larger view.

Faux Stitching

Faux stitching gives the look & appearance of real stitches. The simplest way to achieve this look is to simply draw the stitches in with a pen. Here are a few examples of how to achieve the sewn look without actually sewing:

Paper piercer + pen
This project features faux stitching around the edges. I simply drew the stitch lines around the perimeter of the cards, and then poked a hole in each end of each line. Instant stitches! (This technique also adds a subtle texture.)


Pen stitching
On these cards, Brenda did a variation on the straight ‘faux’ stitch. “Faux stitching is a great technique when you are short on time. Instead of the traditional straight stitch look, try adding a dot or two in-between each straight stitch. It adds a little something different and is eye-catching.

Quilter’s wheel & paint
This technique utilizes a tool from another hobby – a needlecrafter’s tracing wheel. Simply dip the wheel into a little acrylic paint and roll it onto the project. The wheel makes a neat, uniform line of dots. You can pierce them or not.

Other Tools:

As I mentioned previously, there are a lot of products that will help you add stitching to a project. Relatively new to the stitching scene is this tool from We Are Memory Keepers. It combines the pattern making ability of the stitch guides with the ease of the tracing wheel.

Don’t forget the multitude of stamps, rub ons, stickers and other faux stitched products out there. There is something for everyone!

With so many options for all skill levels, we hope we’ve inspired you to add some stitching to your projects, today!

Valerie Mangan's picture

In Stitches: Sewing by hand

Welcome to day two of "In Stitches," where we're sharing the various ways Ella friends Brenda Johnston, Jennifer Larson, and I add stitching to our projects. Click on any of the images below for a larger view.

Hand Stitching

Hand stitching on a layout is an ideal way to add texture to a project. The nature of embroidery floss makes this kind of stitching a little more dimensional. In addition, you can hand stitch with a variety of materials, including ribbon and bakers’ twine. With hand sitching you have more control over where the stitches go, allowing you to accent specific shapes & details.

On Brenda’s “May page – we see the impact a little hand stitching can add:.

Brenda says, “Add stitching to your embellishments to make them pop! I stitched through only half of the sun rays, I thought all of them might be overkill. The hot air balloon is a cardstock sticker from Echo Park. I love the bright colors! I first adhered it to a piece of thin computer paper, then cut it out. I thought this would make it easier to stitch through--the back was pretty sticky and I didn't want it to be hard to push a needle through. I then adhered the embellishment with dimensional adhesive--if I hadn't the embellishment wouldn't have laid flat in most places and would have looked sloppy. “

I love how Brenda combines stitching and ribbon in a clever way on this layout:

“Go one step beyond the straight stitch and add a lot of interest to a layout,” comments Brenda. “Adding an "x" stitch over a piece of pom pom ribbon adds a fun element that is sure to attract the eye. I used a contrasting color of thread to make this visual stand out. “

Stitch templates

Stitch templates take the worry out of hand stitching. The translucent plastic cards have holes punched at even intervals in various stitching patterns. Simply line the desired pattern up on your project, pierce the holes with the guide and you are ready to stitch. Jennifer used this technique for her page “Me 2011“:

Jennifer says, “One of the easiest ways to stitch is to use stitching templates. Some of my favorites are the Bazzill stitching templates, especially the flourishes. On this page, I sneaked a few flourishes in around the title and the photo to add some spunk to this page about my spunky kid.”

Freehand Stitching
Making your own custom stitch patterns is simple. For this project I drew the steam swirls from the coffee cup logo onto the project, then went back with a paper piercer to punch the stitch holes. I erased the pencil lines after I stitched with coffee-colored floss. To keep the stitching bold, I used all of the strands in the floss bundle. (You can decrease the number of strands when you need less dimension.)

Jennifer offers some great tips for freehand stitching: “Get a foam pad from a craft store, plus a paper piercer (a push pin would work too). Lightly hand draw a line in pencil--curved, straight, etc.--then punch holes about every quarter inch (closer will destroy the paper). Erase the light pencil lines, then thread a needle with floss--I use three strands of DMC--and do either a running or backstitch. Other types of embroidery stitches can be done; here's a helpful free stitching guide and here's another one.

The French Knot
French knots are a great dimensional, hand-stitched accent. They can replace a brad, serve as a small page accent and provide texture. On the card on the left, I stitched green French knots on the branches to simulate buds. On the right I used metallic floss to make ‘French knot rain’ for this shower card:

French knots are easy and add a lot of impact. A great tutorial can be found here.

Tune in to our "In Stitches" series again tomorrow (Saturday), when we'll share how to get the look of stitching without the needle and thread.

Valerie Mangan's picture

In Stitches: Sewing on scrapbook pages

Hi all! Val here to talk to you today about a technique that is near & dear to me & the Ella friends: stitching. For me, stitching on my projects, whether it’s by machine, by hand or drawn in with a pen, is my signature. I can use as much or as little product as I like, but once the stitching gets added, the project is uniquely mine.

I know the idea of sewing on pages can be intimidating, especially if you don’t consider yourself a sewer. Since there are a variety of methods to get stitching onto a page, this versatile technique is do-able for everyone at every skill level. For the next three days, we’ll take a peek at the various ways I and Ella friends Brenda Johnston & Jennifer Larson add stitching to our projects.

Machine Sewing

Machine stitching is by far, the fastest way to sew on your projects. It is precise and fairly low profile, depending on the thickness of thread you use. The lines created with machine stitching are extremely effective for framing areas on your projects, outlining elements and adding movement across a project. Even with only the straight and zigzag stitches, used at varying lengths, you can achieve a multitude of looks.

I love to stitch through whatever I can. I also love how stitching through a product can transform it. Here, I sewed through the wood veneer flowers in order to unify the element, secure them to the page and mimic the curved blue lines printed on the paper. (NOTE: click all images to see a larger view.)

A side bonus of machine sewing is that it acts as a permanent adhesive. Sewing on your pages will allow you to cut down on the need for large amounts of adhesive. Here’s an example of a project where the adhesive on the letter stickers failed. I remedied the problem with a line of stitching right through the type. I love the added dimension from the curled letters and the movement from the stitched lines. (These letters are never coming off now!) The same color stitching frames out the page. The curvy stitch lines are a great compliment to the linear design of the patterned paper and letters.

It doesn’t all have to be straight or zigzag with machine sewing. You can do a more ‘freestyle’ form of machine sewing (also called free motion/embroidery sewing) if you lower the feed dogs of your machine. If your machine has this option, the manual will guide you through the process. Once you are in free motion sewing mode, the possibilities are endless.

On this page, I mimicked free motion sewing by sewing the background circles. I actually traced a plate with pencil and stitched on my line. Then I erased whatever pencil lines were still visible after sewing. A quick note of advice: when sewing in a circle or curve, slow down. You will have more control.

On this page, I added spiral stitching on my handmade embellishments. The intentionally haphazard lines lend a playful feel:

Some good things to know about machine sewing:

1. If you are new to your machine, make sure you follow the threading directions. Even a slight deviation can cause major issues with your stitches.

2. Try not to sew through adhesive. Especially any kind of glue dot. This is a sure fire way to gunk up the works and destroy the needle. For best results, dot the project with a light adhesive to tack down the parts you want to sew – trying to avoid the areas where you plan to stitch.

3. There are no paper-specific needles. I usually use a needle designed to sew through cotton and I like to keep a bunch on hand. Your manual should have a chart to help you choose. Brenda adds this great advice: “. . . keep a needle reserved for your paper projects. Paper will dull your needle and is best to not use it again on fabric. These days I don't have time for fabric projects, so I just leave my "paper needle" in my machine at all times! (Me, too Brenda!)

4. If you are not sure you will be able to stitch through a thicker material (chipboard, plastic, etc) proceed slowly with a few test stitches.

5. Keep some clear tape handy to secure loose stitches on the back of your project.

Tune in again tomorrow, when we'll talk about the different ways to hand stitch, and Saturday too, where we'll share how to get the LOOK of stitching without the needle and thread.

Ella's picture

Creative Ideas for Events & Holidays: Challenge 2

Here is a new challenge for you from the authors of, Creative Ideas for Events and Holidays. The book features the dynamic team of Sara Winnick and Margaret Scarborough. In their new eBook, they tackle 12 unique scrapbooking challenges, sharing dozens of ideas for freshening up birthday layouts, Christmas pages, and Halloween designs—not to mention layouts about the first day of school, Valentine's Day, Disneyland vacations, and more! Get ready to get inspired. We asked them to make some pages exclusively for our blog. Second up is a photo mat challenge.

Mat your photos on a neutral colored tag, frame, or cardstock

From Margaret

This layout documents a somewhat bittersweet day for both Matthew and I. Although he was super excited to go back to school to see all his friends, he also knew that this was going to be his last quarter there as we would soon be moving to Florida. Thankfully, he’s made several good friends here in Florida too. And he still manages to keep in touch with all his California friends via the phone and computer.

If you have pictures that have colors that are hard to coordinate with, try using a neutral color scheme and add just minimal amounts of color. The shipping tags serve as perfectly sized photo mats and keep with the neutral color scheme.

From Sara

I love the look of kraft and distressed white paper for a simple clean look, but found that my page needed a little pop of color.  To add color without adding patterned paper I stamped the bottom edge of my kraft paper with colorful eggs.  Because this was all done digitally I was able to pull the colors for the eggs directly from my photos using the eyedropper tool. I used the mailing labels with decorative edges as photo mats to add minimal contrast.

Supplies: patterned papers (Sketchbook Artistry by Sue Cummings (for Oscraps), Kraft by Crystal Wilkerson) + stitching and eggs (Katie Pertiet) + photo mats (Paislee and Feifei) + Teletype and Calibri fonts

Angie Lucas's picture

Great Deals for Scrapbookers

It's that time again, folks! Time for us to share a few deals with you that we've found out on the web! Only the best for our Ella Publishing Co. crew. :) This time, we rounded up a few offerings inspired by the topic of our newest eBook, How to Scrapbook Your Personal Heritage by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey.

Free Roundtrip UPS Ground Shipping on Orders of $50 or More from ScanCafe.com! Use Promotional Code: FEBFREE
ScanCafe is a scanning service (for your old heritage photos, negatives, and more) used by pro photographers and Pulitzer Prize winners. It’s available to you from just 35 cents an image! And until February 28, 2011 only, you can get free UPS Ground shipping both ways if your order totals $50 or more. Use the code FEBFREE to get this discount!


But what if you've already got those heritage photos under control and you're really looking for a solution for those old home movies? Well you're in luck, because here's a chance for you to save 20 percent as you get started transferring from VHS (or Beta or whatever) to DVD.

iMemories - Preserve Your Memories on DVD
Share Home Movies
Convert from Tape or Film
Watch and share home movies online

Continuing on our little heritage theme, we also found Family Tree Maker software (from Ancestry.com) on sale for 20 percent off! This product made O Magazine's "Holiday Edition O List." (It was actually Dr. Phil's pick.)

Family Tree Maker 2010
ALSO Now Available - Family Tree Maker for Mac

Enjoy everybody! Hope you had a fabulous President's Day.

p.s. Does anyone else understand the link between President's Day and mattresses? Why are there always huge mattress sales in honor of Washington and Lincoln's birthdays? Seriously, what does one have to do with the other? Sure, presidents do now sleep on mattresses, and they always have, as far as I know. But who doesn't?

(And no, we didn't find any lingering mattress sales to direct you to, so sorry for bringing it up.)

Keshet Shenkar's picture

Home Decor inspired scrapbooking: Week 3

We hope you had a good time watching all the CHA sneaks rolling in!  While at CHA, I loved seeing all of the home décor projects designers had created with scrappy supplies.  Which brings us to today’s topic—more on home décor and scrapbooking!

Today, we’re sitting down with the queen of vintage chic, Becky Novacek, to find out how she marries her home décor and scrapbook skills!

We asked Becky to tell us more about her home décor and scrappy skills:

  1. How would you describe your scrapbooking style?

Very imperfect, homespun, usually simple. Always focused on the photo/s and a brief thought that is usually directed to my family or friends.

  1. What is your creative process for decorating? Is it similar or different to your process for scrapbooking?

Absolutely! I start with a basic idea of what I want the finished product to look/feel like. Colors and textures are a big part of my process. But I guess when it comes down to it, it's all about the feeling or vibe.

  1. How do you transfer design concepts in scrapbooking to home décor?

 I think color and texture are huge, but I think another big part of it is expression and personal style. Allowing your personal style to come through, whether it be a little worn and well loved, or clean and simple, it can be expressed in crafting, scrapbooking, home decor and your wardrobe. For me, there are definite common threads throughout.

  1. Are there any items you’re coveting in home décor? How about scrapbooking?

Right now, I'm coveting a new farmhouse sink for my kitchen. Countertops too. But, I've learned that pacing myself with home improvements is very important! I am loving the new JBS products. I have a little box of goodies waiting for me and I can't wait to dive in!

Here’s a project that represent Becky’s signature style:

And check out how that style appears in Becky’s beautiful home:

She was always drawn to paper and photos, so when Becky Novacek was first exposed to scrapbooking, she was hooked. In 2004, life changed and paper crafts became much more than a hobby, it became a daily creative endeavor. Although life has changed yet again, and now photography plays an important role in her life, she still finds time to scrapbook and play with paper. Becky has been published in BHG Scrapbooks Etc, Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbook Trends, Memory Makers, Cards, Legacy, Somerset and back in the day, Autumn Leaves Books. Currently, Becky serves on the design teams for Jenni Bowlin Studios and Fiskars. And she co-authored Picture Perfect: 129 expert tips for shooting stellar portraits with fellow photographers Elisha Snow and Kelly Noel.

Becky lives in Fremont, Nebraska with her husband Tom. They have 4 grown, married children and 8 grandchildren. She enjoys photography, paper crafts, flea marketing, reading, lunching with friends and spending Sunday afternoons in the summer around the pool with her whole family.

Week 1: Stephanie Howell

Week 2: Lori Mancini

Francine Clouden's picture

Simple Ways to Create Hybrid Scrapbook Pages

Hello friends! Have you been tempted to try out hybrid scrapbooking, but haven't wanted to deal with learning a new software program or a technique? Well today my friends Lee and Monika will share with you three ways you can use simple methods to make a hybrid page or album.

1. Monika shows us how she adds personalised text to a photo without using a fancy photo editing program!

Here is what Monika had to say about her layout:

Layouts for my only boy are always a bit tough for me. I try hard to hard to incorporate patterned paper and cardstock that  in colors other than blue or black {though this one has both} and patterns that still add interest without being distracting. I try not to get too distracted by it all and just focus on the story I want to remember. I adding text to photos as it conveys some of the details without having to point them out in my journaling. And in this layout, the photo was taken long before I ever journaled the story.

And here is how she got her photo effect using a word processing program:

For my photo, I exported it from my Aperture {my photo-editing program} and opened it up in Pages {the word processing program if you are on a Mac}. From Pages, I chose a text box, typed my text, chose a font that appealed to me, positioned it and then saved my new document. I then exported the document back into Aperture. So, dear Ella friends, don't feel discouraged when you hear about all the grand projects achieved with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements when you might be able to do some of those very same things through your computer's word processing program.

Monika uses a Mac, but Windows users can acheive the same results using Word from Microsoft Office. What a simple way to get a great effect!

2. Lee shares the process she uses to make the hybrid pages in her Twelve of Twelve photo album. This is an idea that she found via Cathy Zielske to document the 12th of each month. Lee has been doing this for a couple years, and now has a wonderful album of memories.

This is what Lee had to say about her project:

"Of course, the first thing to do is document the day. Though the project requires only 12 photos, we all know that many more will be taken! The idea is to capture every day moments and if we’re lucky, some special celebrations. With my four kids I do my best to make sure that they are represented at least one time each, so I’m guaranteed to have four shots. That’s not always manageable and therein lies the beauty of the project – if you miss something one month you have the next to rectify!"

To print her photos Lee uses a simple 8” x 6” digital layered photo template which is perfect for a basic 8.5” x 11” page. She prints two months worth of photos at a time in order to save on printing costs.

Here is how she puts her pages together:

Grid + Journaling + Printed Paper = Simple Hybrid Layout

A. All page elements are collected. My completed 8”x6” grid is retrieved from my photo processor (I print no photos at home); month one and two are printed on an 8.5”x11” sheet of cardstock; and a sheet of patterned paper is selected. In this case, my 2010 album is coordinated with the Basic Grey Indian Summer paper.

B. My base, the printed paper, is trimmed to 8.5”x 11”.

C. My journaling is cut in half, from 8.5” x 11” to 8.5”x5.5”.

D. Coordinating cardstock is trimmed to accommodate the photo.

E. Photo is mounted, time to trim down the journaling – about ¼” each side.

F. Journaling is adhered to printed paper below photo.

G. I have a page of title strips which coordinate with the font used to number the photos and are sliced into ¼” strips.

H. The strip is mounted on a coordinating coloured piece of cardstock from my stash. In this case it is orange to coordinate with colours associated with October. Anything to help use up scraps is good!

I. Done. A quick and easy page! You can always add stuff like buttons, brads and bows, but in my case I’m happy to have it finished and in the album.

Great idea Lee!

3. Finally. I'll show you a quick way to print out digital patterned papers without using a photo editing program, like I did for this layout about my son's first forays into eating solids.

(Digital Patterned Papers from the Jude kit by Karla Dudley)

I happened upon this purely by chance, as I was in the process of printing out some photos I had a "What if I?" moment. In this case it was "What if I tried to print out papers using the Windows Photo Printing Wizard"?

To print out nine wallet sized pieces of patterned paper, here's what you do.

Go to the folder containing the digital papers and select the nine you want to use. Then click on "Print these images" in the top left menu (apologies, my Operating System is installed in French, but the steps are the same for the English version)

The Windows Photo Printing Wizard will pop up.

Follow the steps, selecting the paper type and size. In this case I am using an A4 (or European letter) sized sheet.

The last step of the wizard asks you to select the size the images will be printed at. You can choose from full page, 4x6, 5x7, 3.5x5, index and wallets. In this case I chose wallets, which is the last choice on the list.

Click ok, and voila! You now have nine pieces of patterned paper!

I then cut out each piece individually to use on my page. You can play around with this and select different photo sizes like 4x6 or 5x7 to get varying sizes of patterned paper for your projects. The photo wizard will automatically print these out on as many pages as necessary. For example if you select 4 patterned papers to print out at 5x7 size, you will get two printed sheets each with two images. I like to print out my patterned papers on white paper that is a heavier weight than printer paper, but not as thick as cardstock.

I hope the techniques we have shared today will encourage you to give hybrid scrapbooking a try. You don't necessarily need a fancy photo editor to be able to use digital papers and techniques! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments if you need further clarification on any of the techniques we shared.

Happy (Hybrid) Scrapping!!






Ella's picture

Creative Ideas for Events & Holidays: Challenge 1

I know it is February, but we all have tons of Halloween photos. Ella's newest eBook, Creative Ideas for Events and Holidays, features the dynamic team of Sara Winnick and Margaret Scarborough. In their new eBook, they tackle 12 unique scrapbooking challenges, sharing dozens of ideas for freshening up birthday layouts, Christmas pages, and Halloween designs—not to mention layouts about the first day of school, Valentine's Day, Disneyland vacations, and more! Get ready to get inspired. We asked them to make some pages exclusively for our blog. First up is a Halloween challenge.

Use a spooky or Halloween themed font

From Margaret

I think since my layouts tend to be somewhat simple, I like to bulk them up a bit with a frame around the actual layout. Plus, it helps me to reinforce the color scheme a bit. The title is a die cut from Little Yellow Bicycle.


Sara's turn


Sara's version

I find that I often use the same fonts when designing my pages.  For this layout I decided to take advantage of some of the fun Halloweeny fonts available on the internet to make my page more interesting. 

Supplies: patterned papers (Notebook by Katie Pertiet;  Spooky Paper by Crystal Wilkerson) + stitching and spider (White Stitches by Katie Pertiet) + Tom's Handwriting and Robo font (dafont.com)

Free Fonts



Network Vampies

Tom's Handwriting

Ella's picture

Cupid's Valentine's Day Sale!

Happy Valentine's Day Ella fans!

As we all know, there's nothing little old Cupid likes better than making two people fall in love. Cute couples are his game.

So, today YOU get to play Cupid by making your own "cute couple"! (Out of eBooks, that is.)

Select any two regular-price eBooks on Ella's website that you think would make the perfect pair, and then select a third eBook to get for free! Simply place all three selections in your cart and apply the code INLOVE11 during checkout. (Discount applied to least expensive product.) Use your discount by February 15, 2011. Only one per Cupid...er, customer.

Happy hunting!

(Heart image by takasci75 from Flickr's Creative Commons.)

Angie Lucas's picture

CHA Recap Day 6

I wanted to focus my CHA report on just one trend that I'm seeing over and over again, and I think it's a very good thing!

I LOVE the new trend of releasing 12 x 12 sheets of letter stickers that have multiple coordinating styles and fonts of letters all in one place. It makes coordinating letters a snap, and talk about getting more bang for your buck! (AND, they work just perfectly in my personal letter-sticker organization system.) It's not necessarily new for this show, but it's becoming more and more prevalent.

These first three are from Crate Paper:

Here's one from Lily Bee Design that has the same mini font over and over again, but in eight different colors on one 12 x 12 sheet!

And this one from Lily Bee shows how the eight colors of mini stickers fit in with a complete paper line.

Not to be outdone, Echo Park Paper features this one, for its For the Record line, that has vintage typewriter keys. Adorable! There are four styles of letter stickers, plus a few borders AND some little word stickers to boot.

Some companies are choosing instead to include letter stickers plus something else (word stickers, labels, other motif stickers) on the same sheet, which is cool too. This one's from Nikki Sivils, featuring a large blue font, a tiny red font, and lots of other stickers too:

And finally, here's one from Bella Blvd that has a handwriting-style font, a classic sans-serif font, and mini letter stickers all in one. This goes with their Sophisticates line, which is worth checking out!

And for my favorite booth decor, may I introduce you to one of my favorite layouts I've ever seen anywhere ever? It was spotted in the Bella Blvd booth, and it features products from the Sophisticates line mentioned above.

But for me, the star of the show was really miss Keira Jane Lucas. She did get a lot of attention from all the ladies who were missing their own babies. (Photo by Jenny Larson.)

For a complete recap of all my CHA adventures, including pics of baby's first taste of a scrapbooking event, check out my "Home from CHA: Sick and Inspired." Lucas out!

Wendy Smedley's picture

CHA Recap Day 5

Wow what awesome products we have to look forward to.

Seeing the new products is so inspiring. It is hard to pick just five, but five products that I am excited to get my hands on are below

1. Emma book spine patterned paper

This book spine paper by Crate Paper is genious. I love the colors and the vintage type treatments. Imagine the possibilities.

2. Punch Anywhere punch by EK Success

Why haven't punches been made like this all along? These are so easy to use and you can punch anywhere you desire.

3. Delight embellishments by American Crafts

So many embellishments, so little time (and money) these are just adorable.

4. letter stickers from Sassafras Lass

These are the perfect size and the perfect price point for my budget- love these!! (and these have them in so many new colors and even patterns)

5. Albums by Doodlebug

Lastly anything by Doodlebug gets me excited- but I could hardly stand my excitement when I saw their new albums. Rich colors, sturdy design, and two sizes. Perfection

Watch a video tour of their CHA booth here

Brenda Johnston's picture

CHA Recap Day 4

1. Paper Flowers

I am in love with these paper flowers by Hampton Art—the Ditto line. They come in a variety of bright colors sure to fit your most festive page!

2. Doilies

These doilies by Kaiser Craft would make any girl swoon. They have such a feminine feel to them.

3. Doilies flowers

Need more doilies? Check out these by Petaloo.

4.  Clear Scraps mini albums

Has a mini album been on your mind? Check out these cute options by Clear Scraps. I especially love the little tree and the owl.

Favorite Projects

I have to show this ticket mobile just because. I’m not sure that I need a ticket mobile in my home, but it sure was fun to look at and think about how long it took someone to put this together! These are all fun new embellies from 7 Gypsies!

Canvas Home Basics was a new company to me, though they have been around for a little while I was told. They have some fabulous canvas, tags and décor making supplies. I am currently in the middle of hosting a heritage challenge for 12 weeks at the store I design for, so anything “heritage” jumps out at me. Check out this amazing wreath!

p.s. Check out these cute little elephants that I eye-spied during my CHA travels!

Tami Morrison's picture

CHA Recap Day 3

1. Smash book (K & Company/EK Success)

Smash is my top pick from CHA this winter. Part art journal, part notebook, and part scrapbook in the true sense of the word, Smash is a place for all the scraps, bits, and doodles that make your life YOURS. I love the design, the colors, the trend-on accoutrements…but most of all I love how accessible this makes scrapbooking to the average person who just wants a place to stick the stuff that matters. Plus, the included pen is completely ingenious – archival ink on one end, and a glue stick on the other. Smash will be smashing into scrapbooks stores in April.


2. Fun button sets

I can’t resist buttons in happy color combos or cute shapes. Here are a few that caught my eye on the show floor:

Little Yellow Bicycle debuted these adorable chipboard tree stump buttons as part of their new Twig collection.

Crate Paper and BoBunny both offered button sets with a hodgepodge of shapes and sizes, color coordinated to each of their new lines. I love the variety in these packages. It’s almost like someone rifled through Granny’s button jar and picked out just the very best ones.

5. Zapdots

I love using foam adhesive dots to add dimension to a project or page, but it drives me nuts when the white edges show. Clear Zapdots from Helmar are the perfect solution!

Favorite project:

I was completely “blown away” by this gorgeous kite at the Girls’ Paperie booth. What a clever way to showcase the colors and spirit of their new Jubilee collection!

Keshet Shenkar's picture

CHA Report from Keshet Shenkar

Welcome to Ella Publishings CHA reports- Today is Keshet Shenkar

1. Girl's Paperie crepe paper flowers (Jubilee). I love how sweet and feminine these are!

2. GCD mustache wands. These are fantastic because they can help you get funny photos to scrap!

3. American Crafts Peachy Keen Details. The typewriter with pearls made me swoon!

4. Pink Paislee Daily Junque embellishments. The chalkboard stickers, two-tone twine, and felt flowers are an eclectic, fun mix. I love how the chalkboard stickers can be used for home decor and parties, not just scrapping!

5. My little Shoebox Sew Cute stickers. I adore the colors on this sheet and the fun, modern take on a vintage theme.

Favorite Project: These donuts made of ribbon were to die for! They were accompanies by candy boxes, cupcakes, and a red velvet cake, all made out of ribbon.

Jennifer Larson's picture

CHA Report from Jennifer Larsen


This week you get to see favorites from CHA, today is Jennifer Larsen's top picks.

1. Bella Blvd letter stickers. These came from the Sophisticates collection, which is monochromatic. Each 12x12 sticker sheet comes with four different alphas in two shades of the same color. What a terrific idea to easily buy different styles of letters for titles.

2. Cosmo Cricket embellishment packs. Cosmo has made it very easy to layer coordinated embellishments at an affordable price. I adore the wee blossoms and butterflies (perfectly sized for card making too), but paired with the jewels and buttons, they make a very interesting combo--and an affordable one too. The small packs retail for about $1.50, and the buttons at about $3.00!

3. Crafter's Workshop templates. I have had templates for years that I use to mist various patterns on my page, but the new collection is filled with dramatic and varied patterns, from whirly nature images to houndstooth to clocks to banners. Don't mist? No problem--use them for inks or chalks. They come in two sizes, 12x12 and a smaller 6x6 better sized for cards.

4. Pink Paislee Hometown Summer collection. This was my favorite line of the show. I love the colors, the patterns, the embellishments, the whole thing. I particularly loved the die cut pack, which was another affordable collection.

5. Technique Tuesday stamps. The booth had a lot of new images, from vintage to graphic to rough and tumble to sweet. This set of month stamps is a particular favorite of mine.I can see using it on just about every page I scrap.

Favorite Project: These mini bouquets at the Punch Bunch booth were stunning. I know we've seen a lot of punched flowers, but these are almost photo real. What most impresses me are the wee sprays of blossoms on a stem. Incredible attention to detail.

Ella's picture

Ella's Take on CHA

The Ella Friends will share their favorite trends and finds from CHA starting Monday February 7th.

Look for lots of photos, insider information, and just plain fun from your friends at Ella Publishing. Join us next week! (In the meantime, please check out Angie Lucas's CHA recap on her personal blog.)

Jenni Hufford's picture

8 is Enough with Ella Friends

Eight is Enough for the Ella Friends-- and a Giveaway!!
I love scrapbooking for many reasons, one being the pure fun of creating and embellishing a layout.  There is nothing more exciting than pulling together papers, colors, and embellishments to help tell our stories.  However, with vast amount of scrapbooking products available, it is easy to become overwhelmed!
Ella's ebook, Eight is Enough: Easy ways to stretch supplies and use leftovers by April Foster and Studio Calico,has convinced me that eight items is truly enough to put together a fabulous, detailed, well-balanced layout.  By limiting myself to eight items, I was able to use products in a new and creative way, and truly focus on the story at hand.
Join me and three of my Ella Friends, Keshet, Valerie, and Diana as we each share with you two layouts using only eight items!

Eight is Enough for Keshet

Supply List
  1. Gray school paper (October Afternoon)
  2. Yellow damask (October Afternoon)
  3. Blue garment (Studio Calico)
  4. Pink polka-dot (Bella Blvd)
  5. Apron lace punch (Fiskars America)
  6. Butterfly stickers (Jenni Bowlin Studio)
  7. Word/phrase stickers (October Afternoon)
  8. Pink letter stickers (American Crafts)
"For this layout, I kept the design simple, using the paper and embellishments sparingly.  I love the yellow damask paper so much I was happy to use a big piece of it as the center of the layout.  The little bitty phrase stickers and butterfly added subtle visual interest in the top corner of the layout."
"While I wouldn't normally think of using gray as a background color for a bright, beachy layout, I actually loved the contrast between the dark background and the bright, sunny colors.   I wanted a circular element to ground the title, but sadly, none of my 8 items worked for this. So, I hand-cut a circular ring from cardstock and added that! Even though it's clearly imperfect, I like the homespun, funky element it adds to the layout (or at least that's what I'm telling myself!)"
Eight is Enough for Valerie
As a notorious over-packer this challenge was a little intimidating for me.  I did two things that helped make the process of gathering these 8 supplies a little easier: 1) I selected photos first and made certain they were from a single event (a recent family vacation) and  2) In order to take the guess work & time out of coordinating supplies,  I chose most of my product from a recent Studio Calico kit (Metropolitan & the Busy Sidewalks add-on from December.)  .
Supply List
  1. Studio Calico “Swatch” 12 x 12 patterned paper
  2. Studio Calico “Sass” 12 x 12 patterned paper
  3. Basic Grey “Houses” 12 x 12 patterned paper
  4. KI Memories “Lagoon Calendar” 12 x 12 patterned paper
  5. Tim Holtz Tissue Tape
  6. Studio Calico Navy Jute
  7. Basic Grey “Wander” Pieces die cuts
  8. Studio Calico Jett alphabet stamp set
Most of my photos were bright, so instead of matching colors directly to the photos (which would have meant a lot of pink & green), I chose patterns with similar color intensity.  I selected an alphabet stamp instead of letter stickers to ensure I would not run out of letters as I went through the layouts. The tape serves double duty as a theme reinforcer (it’s printed with images of vintage admission tickets) and as an additional neutral pattern. It definitely adds visual interest (and it holds stuff down, too!) The die cuts are for fun and were easily cut apart to make them more versatile. The jute tied here and there adds dimension.

This page will be the opening page of the album that will hold the photos from our most recent Disney trip. I started the supply stretching by using only small pieces of the patterns, with the exception of the calendar page.  The grid pattern is the perfect base for the use of small squares of paper.

I continued to stretch supplies here by again using small touches of the vibrant patterned papers. The green is cut into a pennant and small circles were punched from the black patterned paper to accent the banner and add some much-needed contrast to the page.  When the wording on the die cuts didn’t work, but the shape did, I just obscured the type (as in the scalloped circle at upper left.)

A bonus that comes along with stretching supplies in a project like this vacation album is consistency.  In addition, small portions of color & product really let the photos stand out.

Eight is Enough for Diana
I did not have a plan or strategy for this challenge-- no layouts in mind that I intended to create. I didn't even know what photos I was going to scrap! I just picked things that I thought would go together and that would cover all the bases of what I usually use on a page, sifted through my stack of photos, and voila. It was fun!  Five of the eight elements are from the Studio Calico January 2010 kit "Who's Who" + "Dear Abby" add-on, except I added in Thickers white nutmeg alphas, a pack of October Afternoon label stickers, and a pack of rhinestones (a must have for me)."
"Giving Thanks" is a scraplift of one of my own favourite pages, one that I originally scraplifted from Jody Wenke."
This layout, "You are my Heart" was inspired by a layou I saw by Anna Marie Mondro in the Studio Calico Member Gallery 

It wasn't hard for me to be limited to only eight ingredients as I am a fairly simple scrapper. What was hard was being limited to the same eight items for more than one layout.

Eight is Enough for Jenni
I love to use many products and include small details in my layouts, so like Valerie, I too was a bit intimated by the thought of only using eight items.  However, to my surprise, I was able to quickly create my layouts by limiting the options available to me.   I enjoyed the challenge of trying to find new and different ways to us my eight products.  
I chose a variety of options from Studio Calico's Napa Valley kit (November 2011).
Supply List:
  1. Kraft Calendar Paper (Crate Paper)
  2. Text/Ledger Paper (Making Memories)
  3. Yellow polka-dot paper (Studio Calico)    
  4. Calendar Journal Cards (Sassafras)
  5. Butterflies (Making Memories)
  6. Brads (Making Memories)
  7. Orange Alphabets (Making Memories)
  8. Staples
For my "I Realize" layout, I utilized the Sassafras Annual Journaling Cards to highlight the amount of months we have left until my son starts kindergarten.  The cards brought A LOT of color and detail into the layout.  I added three different layered butterflied to create a visual triangle.  The strips of paper on the edge of the layout, resin flower, and staples were the perfect finishing touches to give the layout the "detailed look" that I love.
For my second layout I wanted to use the Sassafras cards in a different way than intended.  I decided it would be fun to cut out letters from the text and spell my name.  I cut the letters out in the shape of a heart-- that way it would be less noticiable if my freehand cutting was uneven.  I also used the negative portion of my alphabet sheet for the letter "E" in my title.  I broke up my title, and added interest in the layout.  Again, I created a visual triangle with the three large brads.

Eight is Enough for YOU
We would LOVE to challenge you to come up with your own list of eight items from your stash of supplies and to stretch your list into four great layouts. Make sure you include a mix of papers, accents, tools, and alphabets—whether stamps, die-cuts, or stickers. You can only use the items on your list, but cardstock, fonts, and standard tools (such as trimmers, journaling pens, or a sewing machine) are freebies.

When you’re done, e-mail us pictures of all four of your layouts (each sized to 800 pixels tall maximum), plus a picture of your eight original supplies, and an explanation of how you stretched each layout, and we’ll pick one winner each month through March 2011!  E-mail questions and entries to submissions@ellapublishing.com, with “Eight is Enough” in the subject line.

AND to add an extra ELLAment of fun,Ella Publishing is giving away an Eight is Enough ebook!   Leave a comment here and share if you have ever created a layout using only 8 items. Comments will close 10:00 p.m. Saturday February 5th MST.   Good Luck!!!

Ella's picture

Away at CHA

It's that time of year again! The Craft & Hobby Association Winter trade show is happening now in downtown Los Angeles. 

Wendy Smedley and I are here, along with Ella Friends Keshet Shenkar Starr, Jennifer Larsen, and Brenda Johnston. The fabulous Tami Morrison, a past Ella Friend and our current ad rep, is here too. What a blast it's been meeting these talented ladies in person (some for the first time) and catching up with all the movers and shakers who make up this amazing industry!

I promise you will never in your life meet a more generous, enthusiastic, warm, and supportive bunch. We'll have updates from all our CHA reporters in the next week or so. In the meantime, wish us all good luck in our travels.