Angie Lucas's picture

Let's Party Like it's Angie's Birthday!

Because today is, in fact, Angie Lucas's birthday. And because it's her birthday, she can refer to herself in the third person all she wants, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. She has officially entered "Birthday Tyrant Zone" and she shall get her way from dawn 'til dusk today.



Okay, this is me, 30 years ago (which is quite hard to say out loud--I can remember something that happened 30 YEARS AGO???). I'm wearing the princess costume that I wore two Halloweens in a row and apparently many, many days in between.

And since I've reached new heights of maturity and generosity now that I'm 35, I'd like to offer all of you, my loyal Ella friends, a birthday discount. Today only (March 31, 2011), you can save $3.50 on an $11 purchase with the code HAPPYBDAYANGIE. Hey, it's my way of getting myself lots and lots of happy birthday wishes today.



Thanks for stopping by! I'm probably off stuffing my face with cake... Have a piece in my honor, will ya?

Ella's picture

Eva Pizarro: Our 8th and final 8 is Enough Winner

Wondering how to stretch those scrapbook supplies and create more with less? Then 8 is Enough is the eBook for you!



Congratulations to Eva Pizarro, our 8th and final winner in the 8 is Enough contest, sponsored by Ella and Studio Calico! We loved Eva's fresh and fun product choices and the innovative ways she used them on four very different (but all fun) layouts. note: click on all images to see a larger view and read the journaling!

Here are Eva's chosen supplies:


4 sheets of patterned double sided paper (Echo Park)
note: on the back of the yellow paper there are some journaling tags.
Sticker sheet (October Afternoon)
Butterfly punch (Martha Stweart)
Tags (American Crafts)
Thickers Alphabet (American Crafts)


Eva says: "For my first layout I thought I’d start with a simple layout to be sure to leave enough paper for the rest.  The only supplies I included where kraft paper and white cardstock."
 

Eva says: "For my second layout I wanted to use a border punch for the white border but instead I drew a scalloped border and I used my scissors to cut it out. I also used the rest of the tag I used for my first layout and some scraps to make the banner and the grass in one of the squares."
 

Eva says: "For my third layout I used some of the scraps from the previous layout. The strips of paper are actually smaller but I divided them in two and attached them one of each side of the photo so it looks like it’s just one piece of paper.  To embellish the layout I did some flowers with patterned paper and instead of buttons for the center I used stickers and a letter from my alphabet."
 

Eva says: "This is the last layout I did. I added the grey and white cardstock  and used my scraps to complete the embellishments . For the journaling tag I simply cut out the part where it said 'Notes' and glue the two pieces together. For the little butterflies I punched a tag because my papers didn’t have purple. I had lots of fun with this challenge! And after I finished the 4 layouts I still had lots of scraps to do at least 2 more! "
 

Eva has won...

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


Now it's Your Turn

Our official monthly contest may be over, but you can still participate in the challenge and send us the results! We plan to pick a winner from time to time to feature here on the blog and award a fun & fabulous prize. Here's what you do: come up with your own list of eight items from your stash of supplies and stretch the supplies 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. E-mail questions and future entries to submissions@ellapublishing.com, with “Eight is Enough” in the subject line.


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

Liz Oram's picture

Liz's Loves for March


Hey ya’ll! I am excited to be back for another year of canoodling with the likes of such amazing people. My heart is swooning as I think of how many amazing submissions we have been receiving since I last posted! I can’t wait to expose my crushes for the month (you’ll heart them too when you see their work), so without further ado:


First up is Mindy Miller with her super springy page “All Grown Up”. I love the bright happy colors and her uses of the scallop circles (super easy to do with punches, by hand, or with a die-cutting system). I can’t wait to mimic her use of butterflies as well. Great job Mindy!


Next is Megan Klauer with her amazing page featuring her cute little bundle Ella. I was amazed when I saw this photo…so captivating! As a photographer myself I love to see pages that focus completely on a photo. One this sweet would be a focal point of any page, but I love that she journaled around it and used her embellishments to draw your eye to the photo. Beautiful page Megan!


Third is Katharyn Brine with her page “Trouble”. This is such a sweet way to showcase her daughters naughty side :0). I love her use of hearts and clean white space. They color scheme is also a refreshing combo to use for girls. Thanks for sharing Katharyn!


Fourth is Heather Innusa with her super cute card “Hoppy Easter”. Her card caught my eyes right away; I mean who doesn’t love cuddly little bunnies? I love that she was so creative and put the googly eyes up top to make a little rabbit-so innovative! Thanks so much for inspiring us to make so cute Easter cards Heather!


Last up is Nicole Pomeroy, my super crush…you know that one you never seem to get over or get enough of? Yea…it’s kinda like that ;0). Anyways, she sent in several amazing submissions and this one caught my eye instantly. I love how she used mini-photos. I love that the title is part of her journaling, and I love how simplistic her layout is with plenty of shebang surrounded by lots of white space.

So all my lovely little loves…please send me your work by emailing pictures of your favorite layouts to submissions@ellapublishing.com! I love seeing your fabulous creations and look forward to ogling your goods (if ya know what I mean). I will see you again in May with my new crushes-you won’t want to miss it!

Keshet Shenkar's picture

Trend Watch: Start Seeing Purple

A few months ago, I attended the Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Los Angeles for the first time. One of the things I loved about being at the show was how much easier it is to spot trends when you’re literally walking into them!  One color in particular, which has not made a huge dent in my scrapping stash, seemed to be everywhere—purple.

Since the show, I’ve noticed lots of pretty purple products (try saying that ten times fast!) that are available for scrapbookers, and I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites today.



First, I love the elegant colors and homey patterns of Lily Bee’s Picket Fence line. Porch Swing and Fresh Air are two of the new Lily Bee papers that use a soft, grapey shade of purple.


And the coordinating label stickers bring in the purple and mix it in with other pastel and jewel-toned colors.


Ella Friend Jenni Hufford created a gorgeous layout with the Picket Fence line:



Pink Paislee’s Soiree line is fun and energetic, and uses a brighter, lighter shade of purple.

The embellishments in the line use purple in an unusual way, adding bright yellow and aqua hues to the mix!



Kaisercraft was also getting in on the action with their Magic Happens line:

 
Purple is popping up everywhere, but if it’s not a go-to color for you, it can be tricky to figure out how to use it. 

One surefire way to conquer a new color is to work with a black and white photo.  Black and white photos don’t compete with the colors of patterned paper and embellishments, so are an excellent match for a trickier color like purple.   When it comes to accents, I find that neutral color embellishments, in shades like black, white, and cream, add a subtle but elegant counterpoint to the rich shade of purple. 

On my layout, “No Matter What,” I let my photo and message take the starring role front and center.


I embellished the layout with neutral elements, like the Studio Calico Notions flowers and Pink Paislee pleated ribbon in cream.  I added white gel pen and white Thickers to contrast with the purple, and the kraft background grounded the layout. 


For another take on scrapbooking with purple, you can take a cue from Pink Paislee’s Soiree line and match a brighter, more saturated purple shade with bright primary colors.

On my layout, “The Things We Carry,” I used a brighter shade of purple to create a layout with a lighter feeling. The kraft works here again to ground the layout, while the pale blue provides contrast to the purple without competing.




So there you have it! Enough guidance to get you through the aisles of purple at CHA  this year.  Whether you’re scrapbooking grapes or plums or Barney the purple Dinosaur, I hope this article helps you tackle the purple in your life!

Angie Lucas's picture

Join the Blog Hop Fun!

Join the fun and hop from blog to blog to blog today, where you'll see amazing projects inspired by Ella's newest eBook, Scrapbooking the Everyday by Elizabeth Dillow and Tina Cockburn. And there will be a free copy of the eBook given away on each blog too. So hop along!

Start here: Brenda Johnston

And from there you'll visit:

Donna Jannuzzi
Jenni Hufford
Monika Wright
Jennifer Larson
Valerie Mangan
Lee Currie
Francine Clouden
Diana Chen
May Flaum
Keshet Starr
Mary Jo Johnston

p.s. It's design-genius Travis Lucas's birthday today (husband to Angie, for those who don't know) so wish him a happy day!

Monika Wright's picture

Calling all Font fans

Hello, are there any font geeks with us today? I'm Monika Wright and I'm part of the Ella Friends team.  Wow, inspiration is all around us. We're bombarded every day with so many images, sounds, sights and smells to excite our senses. It can be overwhelming, yes, but oh so interesting.

 

I'll just focus on one sense today...sight. One of hot trends the past few years has been Subway Art, which is a collection of words or phrases on consecutive lines in varying font styles and sizes. More often, the type is white while the background is colored. Occasionally, the type runs in different directions. I happen to carry a collection of Subway Art prints in my Etsy shop  but have never incorporated the idea of a collection of fonts for a layout. Why? Don't have a clue. But, now that I've done it, I can see so many possibilities for even more layouts using this very same idea.
 
Today, I'm going to share layouts that I made for my two youngest children, both girls, aged 5 and 7. I also have a 19-year old son who just happens to be the best big brother, ever.  Don't be fooled, even thought he's older, he is very aware of the ratio of layouts I make for each kiddo...he does not want to be left out. After all, who doesn't enjoy reading a story about themselves from another person's perspective, especially your Mom's perspective.
 
Here's the 12x12 template I'm using, just click on the image or this link
There will be an 8.50x11 template available Saturday on my blog  when I'll share the layout I made for my son and an additional layout I made using the 8.50x11 template.


 
I've already scrapped the joy I feel when I see my daughter playing with the same animals my son played with many, many years ago, but I have not journaled about the number of messes she makes in a day while playing. It's really quite frustrating, but I keep reminding myself that I will miss this next year when she heads to Kindergarten and I'm home all alone. Although in my journaling, I address each of the words presented in the square featuring four different fonts, I focus on the word PLAY and the messes she makes {and doesn't clean up} as she goes about her day.



Each square has room for a 4x4 piece of patterned paper, photo or other piece of ephemera with a 1/8" border all around. Oh, and there's plenty of room for journaling, too. I even used gender-neutral colors so that you can scrap babies, tweens, teens, boys, girls and even adults!


Same layout, same design, different ink for the journaling. Even though the same sheet of patterned cardstock was used for both layouts I used different portions of it so that in the first layout, the focus was on the red in my daughter's shirt and in my second layout, the focus is on the varying shades of turquoise and blue in the fanciful get-up my oldest daughter has on. I didin't use any additional embellishments on this layout, choosing to keep it simple and sparse because 1} there's already a lot of color going on , 2} there's quite a bit of journaling and then also the font block and 3} i'm using patterned paper which is full of movement.
 
Because I have three kids and they each have their own scrapbooks, I often create 3 layouts using the same design, varying the patterned papers and embellishments to fit the persona of each child. I love it because I complete three layouts in just about the same time as it would take me to complete one. Three stories captured, three happy kids, one happier mama.
 
I hope you have as much fun using this template featuring fonts as I did creating it for you. The fonts I used are available for download here:
 
PLAY | Cheri 
SLEEP | My Topher 
REPEAT | Playful 
 
Don't forget to stop by for a visit with me on Saturday for the 8.50x11 template! 
 
Have Fun and Scrap On!

 

 

Angie Lucas's picture

17-Hour St. Patty's Day Sale!

Pinch us, because today we celebrate all things green and all things Irish! (Me? I have a wee bit o' the Irish in my melting-pot background, so we'll likely be having colcannon for dinner tonight.)

In honor of the day of the leprechaun, March 17, we're offering you a special 17-hour St. Patrick's Day Sale!

For the next 17 hours*, you can enjoy 17 percent off any Ella Gift Certificate with code LUCKYMARCH17. (And here's a hint, you can send the gift certificate to yourself instead of someone else if you wish!) One coupon per customer. Now get shopping!

*coupon is good from:
12:00 p.m. today until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow (PST)
3:00 p.m. today until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow (EST)

p.s. Happy birthday to my cousin Camille! Anyone else have St. Patty's Day as their birthday? Do you always get green cake?

Wendy Smedley's picture

How to Scrapbook Your Personal Heritage: Challenge 2


Are you up for a good challenge? Here is the second challenge from Aby and I based on our eBook shown above.


Scrapbook about a tradition you have carried on since childhood.

Aby's take


Journaling reads, "Cutting down fresh Christmas Trees is a long standing tradition. When I was a kid, my family would get a tree the day after Thanksgiving. We drove to a farm out in the country and strapped the tree to the roof of the car. When Jay and I met, we carried on the tradition. He loves spending time in the country and he loves cutting down fresh trees. It's something we've done since our first Christmas together and we carry on the tradition with Collin and Kailea. We've cut down trees in the rain, snow, mud, warm days, and cold days. These photos were of a particularly frigid tree cutting expedition. The best part of a cold tree cutting day...hot chocolate and snuggling to keep warm.

Wendy's version


This layout is all about the tradition of dying eggs before the Easter holiday. It is a completely fun time- no stress, no pressure, just fun and easy for everyone to enjoy and participate. I found the photo of me and my dad- pretty cool! Plus I used the new  Neighborhood line from Crate Paper- so cute!!




 

Ella's picture

Tell us what you thought about MISA


Remember this announcement? the massive two week long blog tour? the 100 giveaway winners? what about the nominees themselves, they were and are memorable indeed.

So what do you think??

What did you think of the award? did it make sense?

Who would you nominate?

What did you like about the MISA experience? What would you like us to do different?

Did you like the eBook? (if you bought it)

and just by sharing your opinion you are doing a good deed- so thank you.

Keshet Shenkar's picture

Home Decor inspired scrapbooking: Week 5

The weeks have flown by, and we are now on our last week of the Home Décor blog series. Today’s post profiles an amazingly talented woman and scrapbooker, Maggie HolmesMaggie creates beautiful layouts, and applies her signature style to her home décor. In fact, it was an image of Maggie’s home that first led me to notice the many correlations between scrapbooking and home décor.

 
Maggie answered some questions about her home décor and scrapbooking life:

1. How would you describe your scrapbooking style?


I would definitely say my style is collage based and eclectic. Another word that would describe my style is colorful! I have always loved color and pattern. Mixing and matching is what I do best and I love to combine lots of different things on my layouts -- different product lines, unexpected colors, layers, and lots of dimension!

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

My process for decorating is very similar to my scrapbooking process. I like to start with a neutral background and then I layer on top of that. I use lots of bright colors and fun patterns as accents. As in my scrapbooking style I also mix and match within my home. For example, I love to put old vintage items or items that are more frilly and feminine on top of a modern sleek white table. You will also rarely see me purchase a whole matching line of something (like bedding).... Rather, I will buy bits and pieces from here and there to make a more eclectic look that feels like it has been added to over the years.

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

I don't know that I do this consciously, but I think that my design concepts definitely transfer back and forth between my home décor and my scrapbooking. For example, I will use small bits of an accent color and scatter it in a few different places throughout a room or on a scrapbook page to make sure it all ties in. I am also not afraid of mixing patterns (even if they don't seem like they "go" together) but I do it in small doses so that it doesn't overpower a room or scrapbook page.

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

I am definitely wanting a new couch! The one we have is not my first choice but it is definitely super comfy so it is hard to give up! I would love something a little more sleek and more grey in color tone. My dream is to have white couches but that would probably not work well with all of our kiddos! Maybe someday when we have a separate and more formal living room so I would know it wouldn't get used as much! :) And while we are on the subject of white, Z Gallerie has some amazing white dining chairs that would be soooo cool! Again not very practical but I just love how white looks with all of the bright colors in my home. In scrapbooking the one thing I have had my eyes on for a long time but just haven't bought yet is a Silhouette machine. They look so fun and amazing! It's definitely one of those things that I don't "need" but would be a lot of fun to play with!!

Here are some layouts that show off Maggie’s fun, fresh style:





And if you like her scrapbook layouts, check out Maggie’s amazing home décor:

How beautiful are those frames and the pops of pink?


Love the lime green touches here.


More color, and beautiful details.



I love the “H” collection!


How gorgeous was that? Thank you, Maggie, for sharing your gorgeous house with us!

A little bit about Maggie
I am a photographer, scrapbooker, workshop leader, mom and wife. We have 4 kiddos that we adore and another one on the way!! I can't wait! I love to be creative while at the same time preserving our memories and recording the stories of my family. One of my biggest focuses recently is teaching my online photography workshops. I love seeing my students grow & progress so much in just a few short weeks! It is really rewarding & lots of fun! Design teams that I am currently on include Studio Calico, American Crafts, Girls' Paperie, the Creating Keepsakes Dream Team and Making Memories. I feel extremely blessed every day that I get paid to do what I love!! How could I be so lucky?

Wendy Smedley's picture

How to Scrapbook Your Personal Heritage: Challenge 1



Remember these three challenges based on the Creative Ideas for Events and Holiday blog challenges? It is time for a second set of challenges from me (Wendy) and Aby Garvey based on our eBook shown above. Are you up for a good challenge?

Scrapbook about an activity you did as a child; include your photos and/or photos of your children participating in the same activity.


Aby's take

Fun to create and full or bightly colored patterned paper this layout brought back happy memories of playing and watching my favorite sport, basketball. (can you tell which one is me?)

Journaling reads,
"My love of basketball runs deep,.

  • I played as a child.
  • I watched aunt Amy play in High school.
  • I cheered for the Okemos boys basketball team.
  • I watched MSU win the NCAA tournament

It is so fun to be a basketball fan again and watch Collin enjoy my favorite sport of all."

Wendy's version


Finding these photos reminded me of how much I enjoyed participating in the Campfire Girl program. I enjoyed making this layout and keeping the focus on the photos by using small amounts of patterned paper.

Journaling reads, "I was a camp fire girl- I do not remember much about this experience other then I remembering liking the uniforms and the ceremonies. This picture is taken at one of those ceremonies- I also recall liking the weekly meetings where we would learn different skills."

Tami Morrison's picture

Three tips for a more creative life

As scrapbookers, we’re on a continual quest to harness that sometimes-elusive creative muse. But have you considered that there is more to creativity than making cute stuff at your craft table? Allow creativity to seep into all aspects of your life and it will become more available to you during your next artistic project.

Here are three ways you can start embracing a more creative lifestyle:

1. Allow yourself quiet time to reflect, plot, plan, devise, meditate, ponder, synthesize, and otherwise give your creative thought space to roam.

It isn’t always easy to squeeze “me time” into a full schedule when I think of it as a luxury. That’s why I look at it as one of my commitments. My calendar includes a weekly Starbucks date with myself, and I make a point of carving out little blocks of thinking time at least a couple of times each week. A few of my favorite ways to spend this time: writing in my journal, taking a walk, or treating myself to a soak in the tub. (I adore Lush Bath Bombs – if you haven’t tried them you should! They smell incredible and are practically guaranteed to melt the stress away and get the creative thoughts flowing.)


photo by   Erica Nicol

2. Don’t leave your creativity at the craft table.

Life is full of opportunities to be creative, from the way you accessorize an outfit to the way you throw together ingredients for a meal. If you maintain an adventurous and creative state of mind in all areas of your life, you’ll have an easier time accessing the creative mojo when you need it for a project. Try new things, rearrange your furniture just to see what it would look like, write your grocery list on a cute notepad that expresses your style ( Shop Expressionery.com for Personalized Writing Journals, Address Stamps and More! Enter SAVEMORE and save up to $55 on orders $150+), and ask yourself "what if?" more often.


(image from Expressionery.com)

3. Do Something Creative Every Day ®

It’s the slogan of the premiere retail paperie Paper Source, and it’s also really good advice, which is why this stamp sits on the shelf above my desk as a reminder.



Your “something creative” doesn’t have to be a scrapbook page or huge, completed masterpiece. It can simply be doodling for a few minutes, choosing a fun combo of products for a future project, taking a photo walk, or dabbling in a new medium or technique you’ve been meaning to try. You’ll be surprised how even just 15 minutes a day can impact your overall creativity.

Angie Lucas's picture

Looking for Ella Publishing Coupon Codes?

We've sent out a few different exclusive coupon codes in the last few weeks, and if you've missed them, there are a few easy ways to remedy that! You don't want to miss any of the elephant action...



1. We send out coupon codes via our email list, so make sure you're on it! (We never sell, rent, barter, give away or do anything untoward with your email address, and we typically email 2 to 6 times per month.)

2. Follow us on Twitter, where we often retweet exclusive coupon codes that are published on other websites. (For example, there's a code for $5 off a $20 gift certificate floating around, and when it gets mentioned on Twitter, we retweet it!)

3. And of course, not to beat a dead horse (where DID that expression come from anyway?), but if you Like us on Facebook, you can be among first to find out about exclusive discounts (like the buy one get one 50% off code that recently went out to our Facebook Fans).

4. Keep on reading The Daily Trumpet blog, where we do our best to keep you informed of all important Ella news.

As always, thanks for reading!



p.s. The WINNER for last week's 8 x 8 photo book giveaway is mrsmayer, commenter #14. Congrats! And thank you all for your lovely words. We're always working to improve every experience at ellapublishing.com and hope you enjoy your time here.

Keshet Shenkar's picture

Home Decor inspired scrapbooking: Week 4

I hope you all have been having a great week and not missing home décor goodness to badly!  If you’re new to this blog series, we’re profiling women who have mad skills in the scrappy department and beautiful décor in their homes.  These images are inspiring me to use design principles I learned in scrapbooking in home décor, and I hope they do the same for you!
Today I’m so excited to introduce you to April Foster who is the owner of Studio Calico, a fabulous kit club—and a gorgeous new farmhouse!


I asked April to give us the scoop on her home décor and scrapbooking life:

  1. How would you describe your scrapbooking style?

 

My scrapbooking style has definitely evolved over the years.  Originally, I was very minimalist and had very little journaling.  Now, my layouts definitely still have a simple structure,  but I add some detail, layers, stitching and definitely more journaling.  I also try to make my journaling more meaningful, but I’ll be the first to admit my sensitive side needs some work!

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

 

a.       When decorating, I usually collect lots of bits and pieces that I like, then start grouping them together.  I also have a notebook that I collect magazine clippings.  It’s divided into two sections: (1) inspirational images, whether it’s a color scheme, window treatment, overall feel that I like and (2) items that can be purchased with direct sources and prices listed.  Then, when putting together my space, I look over my notebook and make sure the items I want would work with some of the inspirational images I’ve saved, so the overall feel of my house remains consistent. 

b.      This is similar to my scrapbooking process as I definitely group items together before beginning to create.  Usually the items are from a kit or a kit + one or two items from my stash, so that’s easy to do!

 

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

 

I think I transfer concepts the opposite direction more often.  I might see something, like a pennant banner in home décor that inspires me.  I’ll never forget spotting that on an etsy shop, creating a layout by cutting triangles, then having that trend pop up everywhere.  It was a home décor trend first, that definitely found its way to scrapbooking. 

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

 

a.       There’s always items I covet in home décor!  I’m anxiously waiting to tell my husband I want him to build me some shelves in our living room to house a collection of white pieces (urns/vases/trays/books/etc) on our back wall.  That wall is missing something and he needs a project (not!).

b.      As for scrapbooking, I am always anxious to see the latest and greatest as well.  That’s what keeps me inspired and always at-the-ready to create new kits.


Here are some layouts that display April’s clean and classy style:




And take a look at April’s streamlined look in her home:





I love April’s use of neutrals and classic prints, both in scrapbooking and home décor!
Thank you April for sharing your beautiful work with us!

Page Call: Your Life, Hour by Hour

For an upcoming Scrapbook Ellaments article by yours truly (co-author of the upcoming March eBook!), we're soliciting layouts from readers like you to put in the spotlight! Every designer who's chosen will receive a coupon code for a free eBook.

The article topic: Everyday Life Scrapbooking

Your assignment: Create a Photo-an-Hour Layout

The due date: March 17, St. Patrick's Day!

The details: Pick a day, any day, and take one photo each hour from the hour you get up 'til the hour you go to bed. Turn the photos into a layout! Set a reminder to keep you on task—a post-it note on the mirror, an alarm on your cell phone, the kitchen timer, a little sign for the counter, whatever. Photos can be turned into a single page or double-page layout or a mini-album. Your choice!

Send layouts to: Email a scan or a photograph of your project to submissions@ellapublishing.com with "Photo Every Hour" in the subject line. Size all images to 800 pixels tall. For tips about getting a good photo of your layout, visit our Submissions Page.

Good luck!

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.

                Mat your entire layout on a contrasting color of paper

from Margaret

This layout actually documents three recent “events” in our life…Jack getting a new job (in Florida), making another cross-country move and our very first home purchase.

Hints: I stuck with the same manufacturer/line for the layout to make it easier to coordinate everything quickly.

Sara's turn

I seem to have developed the bad habit of leaving my camera behind.  Lucky for me, Anna got a new iTouch for Christmas and happily documented Christmas morning for us!  The photos are, of course (!) blurry, so I placed them in a photo cluster to minimize the attention on the quality of the photos while still letting the photos tell the story.

Angie Lucas's picture

We Remodeled! (And a Giveaway)

We've been busy around here! On top of balancing baby and business, we've also been working on a little Facelift for Ella Publishing Co. And if you've ever worked with anything website-related, you know that these things always take twice as long as you think! So thank you for your patience and for pardoning our dust during the last couple of months (especially regarding our poor eZine, which has been on hiatus since November).

Check Out Our New Homepage!

On our homepage, you'll now find everything you're used to seeing (banners and new product announcements, etc.), PLUS quick links to all the hot happenings all over our website!

And, not to get too geeky, but since our main banner rotation is no longer powered by Flash, our homepage now looks fabulous on both the iPad and the iPhone! (Our eBooks always looked great on the iPad, but it was just the homepage that got lost in translation.)

The eZine is New Too!

It's better looking. It functions better. It's easier to navigate. (Do you wish we were talking about your car...or your husband? Hee.) The new and improved (and STILL FREE) Scrapbook Ellaments eZine will now be updated weekly instead of monthly. So check in now and check in often. Our introductory article, "Scrapbooking Your Best Days, Create an ongoing theme album for your favorite days,"  is by yours truly. Next week, Aly Dosdall brings you "Five Trends Worth Trying," and after that, Jennifer Larson talks about all things misting-related. So stay tuned!

And please, click on our sidebar advertisements. This is what makes it possible for us to bring you free eZine content every week, so show your support to our exciting advertisers. (Our newest advertiser is Pretty Little Studio. They have AMAZING stuff. Seriously. Bring on the childhood nostalgia! Visit the eZine, click on their banner and look around!)

Our Newest eBook is Really Making the Grade

We're getting fantastic feedbook from memory keepers near and far who are getting inspired to look to the past and start scrapbooking some of their childhood photos. Check out Wendy Smedley & Aby Garvey's new eBook today!

Now for some bribery. Leave a little comment telling us what you think of our new look, and we'll pick one random comment to receive a free 20-page 8 x 8 photo book with hard cover from Shutterfly.com! (Taxes, shipping and handling not included.) Comment away!