Angie Lucas's picture

What I Learned from Rebecca Cooper

NEW eBOOK ALERT! I've been hard at work editing Ella's July eBook, which is by our top-selling author, Rebecca Cooper. It is fan.tas.tic!

Her newest eBook is packed with Rebecca's tips, tricks, techniques, and photo games (plus bonus checklists) that help her get great, authentic photos of her kids and capture genuine smiles and photos that really capture WHO they are. I can't wait for you to see more of it!

Let me tell you, this book is SO inspiring! With her fabulous tips in mind, I'm already taking better photos. Check out this series that shows a few things I learned from Rebecca.

From Rebecca, I learned about where to find great light in my house (just inside the front doorway, for example), and tips about setting my ISO to let in the right amount of light!

And then I realized that in the previous set, I didn't have Keira facing the light source, so her face was unevenly lit. So, I turned her and tried again, using more of Rebecca's tips and tricks for getting my little one to look at me.

So much improvement so quickly. Are you as excited for this new eBook as I am?

p.s. Winner's from last Thursday's drawing are:


May Flaum's picture

Designing With Patterned Paper

If we’re talking about adding color to your scrapbook pages, patterned paper is often the very first thing that comes to mind! Of course as simple as it seems, the trick is making sure you use the right colors (and quantities) to compliment your photographs. Today I’m going to share five tricks to making colorful patterned papers work for your scrapbook pages.

1. The single-color burst
Sometimes a single color can really be the most powerful, effective statement to use in a scrapbook layout. In this layout (using the new papers from Authentique) I played up the beautiful blues by die cutting flowers, using strips of paper, and of course the bold floral background paper as well.

2. Punched, die cut, or strips
One of the best things about patterned paper is that it can be anything you want. Torn, whole, punched, cut, layered, transformed into something special – it can be ANYTHING. In my layout above you can see I used small bits of patterned paper punched out to add pop and a flash of color to my page. Patterned paper can become flowers, shapes, even used like ribbon if cut into thin strips. The possibilities are endless.

3. Bold patterns and colors

Bold patterns and colors are often the hardest to use. Depending on your photos, I often suggest either starting with a cardstock base to provide balance, or some neutral or otherwise calm solid so that you do not overwhelm the photos and story. Fellow Ella friend Keshet Shenkar has advice to share:

"I like to use a neutral paper as a base, and then a brightly colored patterned paper to add a pop of color. In my layout above, 'So Pumped,' I used the yellow Cosmo Cricket paper as my background, matted over a sheet of woodgrain paper to provide some depth. The warm, neutral colors of the woodgrain and yellow papers provide a place for the eye to rest on the layout. On the other hand, the KI Memories calendar paper is a bright, forest green that adds vibrancy and youthfulness to the layout. By using the neutral paper in as a background with smaller doses of bright color, the layout doesn’t feel too busy and the bright colors stand out."

4. Mix it all up!

Keshet has another great idea to share:

"Don’t be afraid to mix up your patterns for an eclectic feel! On this layout, 'Candle,' I used lots of strips and punched squares of patterned papers. Even thought the papers are very different from one another, and range from pastels to black, by using them in small amounts they don’t compete with each other and create a cohesive layout."

5. ultimate mood enhancer

Color can say a lot of things and sets the tone of your layout. With patterned paper, you can take that one step further and set the mood through design. Whimsical or elegant, playful dots of color or graphic circles – the amount of designs and color palettes available is stunning. Take advantage of this to let your paper do some of the work for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas – and that you look to patterned paper the next time you want to add a pop of color, dash of fun, and bit of something special to your scrapbook page.

Ella's picture

Winner! (And three more chances to win)

The winner of the handmade list journal is...

commenter #29: beida-fish

For the rest of you, who may be sad about not winning, here are three more chances for you to win!

Leave any list-related comment you want, and we'll pick three winners who can each choose one of the three new products released so far in June! (Click each cover to see a sneak peek.)

Comments close Friday. Go!


Jenni Hufford's picture

Ella Friends Add Color with Embellishments

The Ella Friends have been presenting different ways to add color to your layouts, and today I will be sharing a few tips on using color in your embellishments.

I often think of embellishments as "layout accessories". In the fashion world, accessories add color, texture, sparkle, and detail to an outfit. It has a similar function in a layout-- something small can make a bold or subtle statement in terms of color coordination or contrast. When choosing your embellishments, color can be one of your greatest tools in making that statement.  Let's take a look at a few color tips when it comes to embellishments.

1. Add color with a Monochromatic Color.

Monochromatic color is simply choosing a scheme where the colors are all the same base hue. When choosing embellishments that are monochromatic you will achieve a very coordinated look. I believe a monochromatic scheme will draw attention back to the photos and become a more "supporting role" in your layout.

In this layout, "Kiss and Make-Up" I used white as my monochromatic color (don't forget- white is a color too!). The bold color statement was made in my pattern paper choices, however the scheme would have looked "unfinished" without the scattering of white embellishments. I made the embellishments even more monochromatic by backing everything on white cardstock.

I love Ella Friend Brenda Johnson's "Just a Trim" layout- she pulled the blue color within her photo and created a layout with various shades of blue. How clever to use a paint swatch in her layout! The swatch pulled all the blues together in a harmonious design that pulled your attention back to the adorable photos of her daughter!

2. Add color with Complementary (or Contrasting) Colors

Another trick to adding color with your embellishments is to choose embellishments that are completmentary (which actually means "contrasting" in the color world). Contrasting color (not to be confused with clashing colors!) have the opposite feel of monochromatic colors--- they create a bold statement!

Let's take a quick look at the color wheel.

Choosing colors that are directly opposite (or close to opposite) from one another are considered complementary (or contrasting) colors. Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Yellow and Purple are all complementary and bring out the best in one another. Here are a few layout examples of embellishments using complementary colors.

In this layout "The Joy of Summertime" I used a black and white photo, which is a great way to allow your embellishments to stand out with your photo. I chose the color combos of orange and blue along with red and green to be main colors in my scheme.

Brenda created this fabulous card with contrasting colors in mind. See how the purple, green, and orange all complement one another? This is actually a triad relationship- the three colors are equally spaced apart on the color wheel (similar relationship as the primary color combo!).

The color wheel can be a great tool when considering embellishments and deciding what colors you want to pull out of your photos!

3. Introduce a new color to a layout through embellishments.

Embellishments offer an opportunity to introduce a brand new color to your layout-- one that doesn't appear in your photo or paper choices. By using the knowledge of the color wheel, you can bring in a whole new color scheme by adding a simple embellishment.

Ella Friend Keshet Starr acheived this concept by adding the green stamps and green title to her her mostly yellow and grey layout. The green embellishments brings a whole new color scheme and feel to her layout.

Similarly, Ella Friend  Francine Clouden used a black and white photo against black cardstock and allowed her embellishments to bring all the color to her layout. Although small and simple, these embellishments bring a fabulous pop of color and a complete color scheme to Francine's sweet layout.

I hope these three color tips help you next time you reach for your embellishments!  

Donna Jannuzzi's picture

Stretch Your Sketches Challenge Series, Sketch #6

Hi!  I’m here today to share with you another sketch and another layout in our

This is the second sketch for the month of June; you can see the first sketch for this month you can see it here.

Before we get to the sketch, I want to remind you of this month’s amazing prize.  You might remember that Jillibean Soup is sponsoring this month's Stretch Your Sketches Challenge Series! 


So in addition to winning a free copy of my eBook, Stretch Your Sketches

the winner will also receive this prize package

Jillibean Soup's latest collection Watermelon Gazpacho Soup.  It is the perfect summer line filled with bright happy colors and lots of fun patterns.  Be sure to visit the Jillibean Soup blog, Bean Talk for inspiration from their design team and more.

Now on to this month’s sketch!  Here it is

I know I've said this before, so I hope you don't get tired of reading it, but there are so many different ways you can convert a 12 x 12 sketch to 8.5 x 11.  Here is one version

From the original 12 x 12 sketch I created this layout

I used Jillibean Soup's Pasta Fagioli for this one.  I really loved the bold colors of this line and they were perfect for these photos.  About those photos, the journaling for this layout reads:  I tried to snap a photo of the boys together at the Hazel’s Easter egg hunt. I took several and these are the best. Only because they make me laugh! Let's just say these two photos say quite a bit about these two boys' individual personalities.  April 23, 2011

Want to join in the fun?  Here's how to play:  First, create your layout based on the sketch.  Next, post it to your blog or any online album and be sure to mention where you got the sketch in your post or caption.  Third, come back to this post and share the link to your layout.  All entries must be posted by June 30, 2011, 11:59 pm PST.  The winner of each month will be chosen at random and will be announced here on The Daily Trumpet.  Prizes will only be shipped to U.S.addresses.  In the event that an international participant wins, she'll receive an Ella gift certificate, and a new winner will be drawn for the physical prize.

Remember, there are two sketches posted each month.  If you create two layouts, one from each sketch, you will have two entries which will double your chances of winning!
I hope you all will participate with me and make a layout based on this sketch.  If you are playing along here is a button for you to post on your blog.

Angie Lucas's picture

Sneak Peek: New eBook!

Guess what?

We've got an exciting eBook in the works, and it's coming to a computer near you NEXT WEEK! Help us spread the word!

An eBook about loving your life while looking for love.

Newcomer author Stephanie Baxter brings you a 30-page guide to capturing all aspects of your single years—whether you're in the midst of them or they're long in the past. We discovered Stephanie and her eBook idea through our submissions inbox. If you'd like to see us continue to publish newcomers (and possibly yourself), support our efforts to by buying her eBook!

In this eBook, you'll find great ideas for scrapbooking who you spend time with, where you live, the things you love, your hopes and fears, your greatest achievements, and more. Enjoy beautiful layout examples from crafty singles in their teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s! You'll also love seeing layouts from a few former singles who are scrapbooking about their past lives as singletons.

AND it's important to note that the layout ideas in this eBook are suitable for any stage of life, helping you scrapbook about yourself right now, or at some time in your past, and capture memories that matter.

CAUTION: This eBook is only suitable for those who are either currently or formerly single.
(And that includes YOU!)

There's a long list of talented single and formerly single contributors, including Amy Tan, Sarah Champion, Caroline Ikeji, Allison Landy, Cheryl Manz-Ametwee, Geralyn Sy, Megan Powell, Sara Benzkofer, and yours truly!

Here's my layout, inspired by the prompt, "If you had a personal ad now or in the past, what would it say?"

(Click image for larger view)

And yes, that photo is a self-portrait I took when I was single, with flowers from an old boyfriend. Isn't it just so freakin' dramatic? Embarrassing, but funny! :)

Don't forget to enter Tuesday's giveaway! Comments are open through Monday, June 20.

Monika Wright's picture

eBook inspiration | 40 Top Tips

Way back when, before I had the honor of being an Ella Friend, I purchased the eBook 40 Top Tips for Better Photos by Rebecca Cooper. My goal was to use the tips and suggestions in this eBook so that I could better learn my fancy new camera.


What I didn't realize, was that I would be inspired to create a layout based on one of the five scrapbook layouts Rebecca shares with us. Rebecca's layout on the right titled, "this boy" was an ideal way for me to scrap several sports photos of my son. I didn't scrapbook when he was younger, so specific stories and detailed thoughts are lost.

As you can see, my layout is definitely inspired by Rebecca's, incorporating just a few changes and edits:  using only 3 photos allowed me to use larger photos and I used an embellishment as my title. The clean and simple design allowed me to highlight some of my son's athletic endeavors in his scrapbook album even though specific details are lacking.

 We hope that you are enjoying our series sharing how our Ella Friends have found inspiration from an eBook. And in celebration of inspiration, you'll want to take advantage of the Scrapbook Challenges Bundle, where you'll save $4.50 and be inspired by 88 pages of 104 amazing ideas!

Have Fun and Scrap On,


Angie Lucas's picture

Sneak peek, giveaway, & new video!

Hey friends!

We've been hard at work, getting ready to release one new product each week in June! We can't wait. Coming up later this week is the second List It! product, our exclusive Childhood Edition (with a bonus 20-page Teen Edition included for FREE!). This is a great way to unlock memories from your younger years because, unless you have a handy-dandy guide like this, where on earth would you begin with so many years of memories to record? (Oh yeah, and you can get the Teen Edition by itself for just $2.99—your chance to try out the product at a lower price point!)

Here's a quick peek at the new shape (and two of the lists) from our awesome Childhood Edition:

And you'll be excited to know that our second video is up this week! Learn super useful and practical tips for how to turn any of our List It! PDF downloads into a darling List Journal for yourself. (See our week one video here.)

And as a bonus, we're doing a fun giveaway! One person who comments on this post by Monday, June 20, will WIN the exact list journal featured in our week two video (PLUS a free journaling pen)! It includes all of our holiday lists, in random order, and it was handmade by me, Angie Lucas. :) I'll pop it right in the mail to our winner, no purchase required. And here it is:

Let's hear it!

Jennifer Larson's picture

Add Color

Hello, everyone! It's Jennifer Larson with some colorful ideas.

If you're like me, you have bunches of ink pads or mist bottles or paint jars, but you might not use them much. They look pretty, but the paints and inks and mists are just not making it onto your pages. Here's a few ideas to put that color to use!

1. Draw attention to the title. Here I lay a chipboard heart where I wanted the title and misted with a couple colors, green and blue, just lightly enough for the heart to show. I then outlined the heart to make it stand out more before I adhered anything to the page.

2. Draw attention to the embellishments. Ella Friend Keshet Starr  misted in pink more heavily to highlight the embellishment cluster.

3. Make the journaling stand out. Sometimes I want to journal on patterned paper, but the pattern makes the writing hard to read. Using a paint dauber in a color similar to the patterned paper color, I make a spot for the writing.

And here's a close-up:

I use paint daubers in a similar way with letter stickers I want to use as a title.

4. Make the photos stand out. Sometimes I use paint to make the photos stand out from the background paper if they are too close in hue to the background paper and accents. In the next layout, I painted with a deep teal to make the focal point photo stand out more.

5. Add interest to the background. I use my ink pads a lot for stamping and inking the edges of paper, but I rarely use it on the background of my layout. I should. On this next layout about my son's interesting dressing habits, I sanded the background (including the stitching) to rough it up, then added ink with a sponge to make the background look even more textured. The result looks a little like suede.

Thank you for reading a few of my color tips. Time to get out those bottles and ink pads and jars and get messy!


Angie Lucas's picture

Your Life in Lists

So, here's the news, Ella fans. We have a NEW PRODUCT being released every single week in June! We're pretty excited about that. And first up is a brand new type of product from Ella called List It! If you're signed up for our email list, you'll get a coupon code via email that you can use to save 15% on any one of our new products this month—your choice!

Only $7.99!

Learn More

It's not exactly an eBook, although it is a downloadable PDF that you can print from your home computer. It might be more accurate to call this a collection of printable, prompted journaling cards, which you can bind into an adorable handmade notebook or use as the journaling on your scrapbook pages and mini-albums. And, if you're digi savvy, you can download the Digi Plus version for just $2 more, which includes PNG files of each and every list that you can edit, alter, and adapt to your digital needs.

The first one is on sale NOW, our Holiday Edition (journaling lists inspired by all the major holidays throughout the year!) And later this month, you'll enjoy the Everyday Life and Childhood editions too, which will make it super easy to write about memories from your past.

Watch the exclusive video!

To make things extra fun, there's an adorable 8-month-old baby just babbling and chattering away in the background while we're trying to tell you how awesome this product is. So, even if you're not one bit interested in this product, you've got to watch the video just to see this BABBLING, WAVING baby. It's too cute for words. (I'm not biased.)

Wendy Smedley's picture

How Do You Add Color?

We are wondering how you add color to your scrapbook projects? For me it is mainly through photos and paper, well plus embellishments, and alphabet letters... Anyway- I am talking about coloring products such as the ones shown below.

  • What do you love?
  • What do you hate?
  • What do you want to know how to use?

Coloring products

Claudine Hellmuth paint
spray ink
cat's eye ink

Mister Huey mist
Glimmer Glam
pearlized spritz
Jenni Bowlin paint dauber

Over the summer we will be tackling how to use these products and are eager to share what we learn.


Donna Jannuzzi's picture

Stretch Your Sketches Challenge Series, Week #5

Hi everyone!  Today I’m here to share the 5th sketch in the

This week me and Ella Friend Jennifer Larson are working with this sketch for a double-page spread

You can use this sketch to make a double-page layout or you can adjust the sketch and make just one page.  As always, feel free to adapt the sketch to suit your needs.  Here is the layout that I made from the sketch

As I went to make this layout of my favorite photos from last summer, I had a hard time narrowing down my selection to just six images.  Plus, I noticed that I had a lot of portrait orientation photos versus landscape orientation photos.  So, I switched-out two of the 4 x 6 photos for four 4 x 3s.  It’s a simple switch, but it’s one of the ways that I often stretch my sketches.

As I said above, joining me this week is Ella Friend Jennifer Larson.  Here is the layout that she made from the sketch this week

Jennifer commented that she already had several 3x3 prints ready to scrapbook, so she used those in place of some of the 4 x 6 photos.  Jennifer used mist in place of patterned paper in her background and she added some hand stitching to add some movement to the page.  If you haven’t already, you should read Jennifer’s Scrapbook Ellaments article on misting, Misting Magic.  Her latest article is all about embellishments, Little is Big.

Are you ready to hear about the prizes this month?
We are happy to announce that Jillibean Soup is sponsoring this month's Stretch Your Sketches Challenge Series!



So in addition to winning a free copy of my eBook, Stretch Your Sketches

the winner will also receive this prize package

Jillibean Soup’s latest collection Watermelon Gazpacho Soup!  The collection is full of fun patterns and bright colors and I know it will be perfect for scrapbooking all of your summer memories.  I had a lot of fun creating the page above using this very collection.

Want to join in the fun?  Here's how to play:  First, create your layout based on the sketch.  Next, post it to your blog or any online album.  Be sure to mention where you got the sketch in your post or caption!  Third, come back to this post and share the link to your layout.  All entries must be posted by June 30, 2011, 11:59 pm PST.  The winner of each month will be chosen at random and will be announced here on The Daily Trumpet.  Prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.  In the event that an international participant wins, she'll receive an Ella gift certificate, and a new winner will be drawn for the physical prize.

Remember, there will be two sketches posted each month.  If you create two layouts, one from each sketch, you will have two entries which will double your chances of winning!
I hope you all will participate with me and make a layout based on this sketch.  If you are playing along here is a button for you to post on your blog.

***Winner of May's Stretch Your Sketch Challenge is Ella reader Cathy S!***
Please email me at donnajannuzzi(at)gmail(dot)com to receive your prize.

Angie Lucas's picture

List It! sneak peek

Guess what's coming later this month?

A brand new series of guided journaling products called List It!

There will be three different themed List It! product released in June, one per week. Each contains 92+ pretty, promtped, and printable lists that you can use for scrapbook pages, mini-albums, journals and more!

The first one, coming next week, is inspired by our eBook Creative Ideas for Events and Holidays, and it features holiday-inspired journaling lists. Here are two layouts Wendy and I made with these awesome downloads:

My layout was inspired by one of the Valentine's Day inspired journaling lists! (Click image for larger view)

Wendy's layout uses one of the Mother's Day inspired journaling lists! (Click image for larger view)

We're so excited we can hardly stand it!

AND coming the third week in June, look for our latest eBook, Scrapbooking Your Single Years: Inspiring ideas for current AND former singles OR Loving your life while looking for love. You'll love it so much, you'll want to marry it. Trust me. :)

But while you wait for these exciting new releases, you can enjoy this awesome scrapbooking bundle that will save you $4.50, OR if you already have one of the eBooks in that bundle, use the code PACHYDERM to save 20% off one or both of the other two.

Don't you just love summer?

MaryJo Johnston's picture

eBook Inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere! We're all inspired by a variety of ideas, but for me, few compare to the Ella eBooks. Each book is so creatively designed with unique and thoughtfully written content, amazing colorful projects and inspiration that you can refer to again and again in multiple categories.

Scrapbooking the Everyday is one of my favorite Ella eBooks. As I flipped through the pages the first time, I was instantly inspired by this layout.

The block design is perfect for maximizing space on your layout and adding several photos. It's probably no surprise that I had a few hundred photos from our recent trip to Disney World and wanted to create a layout that would incorporate several at once. I incorporated the block design and love the result! I'm planning to create a full album, repeating this design on each page, so the album will flow easily with so many photos. If you haven't had a chance to browse Scrapbooking the Everyday, don't miss it! You're sure to be inspired! =) Mary Jo

Once I got into scrapbooking, I also got into photography. Quite simply, I wanted better pictures for my scrapbook pages. Now I follow as many photography blogs as I do scrapbooking blogs, and I learn a lot online that helps me to improve my photos. One of my favourite photography sites is the Pioneer Woman. She gives great photography tips and tutorials, as well as shows some of her beautiful photographs. But one of the best parts of her blog is that she has created some amazing actions that she gives away for free.

What are actions? (I didn't know either, up until recently.) They are a series of steps in photo editing software (typically Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, which I use) that can change your photo to give it a certain effect. So if you want to make your photo sepia toned, black and white, brighter, or sun-kissed (among many others), with just one or two clicks using actions you can do so. Many photographers use actions, and there are many for sale, but PW gives hers away, and I have all of them and use them all the time. From simple actions that boost colors, to fancier actions that give some really stunning effects, I'm hooked.

Here's an example: 

OK, so as much as I love this photo I'm not about to make a scrapbook page with it. (You think?) But I do use actions for a lot of the photos I use on my scrapbook pages. I love the effect of mixing color and black & white photos of the same subject/person on a layout, and I do that a lot with pages of my kids. I use PW's black and white action BW Beauty as I love the clean black & white photos it renders.  Like on this two layout I used just two photos of my older daughter, one in color, one in black & white:

Here I had a pile of good shots of my younger daughter and I couldn't choose just one. I ran BW Beauty on some of the photos, to differentiate the photos one from the other, as they were all so similar, and also to add a little visual oomph to the grid for a simple page.

Lately I've been doing some art journaling type pages for my personal scrapbook album, and I've been having fun using some of the more unusual actions for the photos. (By the way, SOOC = straight out of the camera, that is, without any effects on the photo.)

Cool, eh? I actually used two actions on this last photo, first Colorized, then Edge Burn, which ended up being my choice to make this scrapbook layout:

For this last photo I first used Boost to make the colors and contrast bolder, then I ran the Seventies action. I tend to use one of the boost or fresh colour actions before I run the other funkier actions as when the original colours are strong (too strong for my taste for a "normal" colour photograph) they heighten the effect of the action. (I do use the Lovely and Ethereal action on many of my photos, it adds a little oomph but not too much.)

I loooove how it came it out, it really made the photo perfect for this LO that I did with it:

A couple of things to note:
Installing actions can be challenging. The PW actions come with detailed installation instructions, and if you follow them closely, you should get it right without too much frustration. But just beware that it's a lot of steps and if you don't get one step right it messes up the whole thing. Just seeing the installation instructions can put you off, but it really is worth the trouble.

Don't forget to flatten your layers after each action. You can do this by (in Photoshop Elements) selecting "merge layers" or "flatten image" under the layers tab.

Actions have added another dimension to my photography and to my scrapbooking. If you haven't discovered them yet, give them a try!