Continuing on with our best of Ella series below is a list of great photography posts and ezine articles.
The week after Christmas is always a tiny bit complicated for me; on one hand, that amazing sense of anticipation that behaves much the same way as adrenaline is over for another year, leaving me happy but a little—OK, a lot—worn out.
But on the other hand, I start to think about projects. Oh, I love projects. While so many people are busy writing New Year’s Resolutions, I’m scheming about my next project for the upcoming year. You already know you’re in luck because Ella Publishing Co. has designed an amazing project for you to participate over the course of 2012 and beyond! Today I want to share just one more thing I love about the 2012 Take Twelve photography and scrapbooking challenge.
I’ve told this story so many times I feel like a broken record sometimes, but it’s so important to me that I want to be sure every creative person hears it!
Once upon a time a scrapbooker named Shelby Valadez changed my life—I’ve told her this before and I’m not entirely sure she believed me, but it’s true. I was oohing and ahhing (but not yet scrapbooking) on twopeasinabucket.com one day about ten years ago when I stumbled across a challenge group she hosted called Art Inspiration.
I watched every week for a few months as people would post a completed layout based on some piece of artwork she would email them. The cycle was so perfect: the email would be sent, a few days would pass, the completed project would appear. I worked up my nerve to ask if I could join the group and was super excited to receive my first inspiration email. I could do this! And guess what? I did. I was hooked.
Week after week, challenge after challenge: I eagerly anticipated the excitement of seeing what was in store for the upcoming week. I participated until the Art Inspiration challenge closed its doors, but I’ve maintained my affinity for challenges to this day. Here’s what I love about them:
Challenges hold you accountable: especially when you’re part of a group. Check out my post from last week to read more about accountability!
Challenges help you narrow your focus: it is so easy to become helplessly overwhelmed by ideas that have no parameters, because you can add and tweak and add some more until you’ve created a beast that cannot be tamed. A challenge usually has a simple boundary—no more, no less. Simple.
Finally, challenges are fun: there’s no pressure, only an invitation to get your creative wheels turning.
Check out what 144 distinct memories look like all together from the first year I played along in a “12 on 12” photo challenge. I blogged about my photos every month and scrapbooked them later. This year I’ll scrapbook my twelve photos each month in real time!
Now of course the Take Twelve photography challenge will operate a little differently than the Art Inspiration challenge did, but you can count on receiving the same “challenge benefits.” By participating in the challenge you’ll receive reminders to take your monthly photographs, scrapbook layout ideas from Ella Friends, and even opportunities to win giveaways for linking your own layouts for all to see each month!
There is nothing quite so sweet as accepting a challenge and succeeding. On behalf of everyone at Ella Publishing Co., we’d like to issue that challenge again today—what do you say?
Hello Everyone! Donna here with you today, and I want to take a moment to interrupt your Christmas preparations to talk to you about a new product from digital designer Crystal Wilkerson that will help you to develop a habit of gratitude and will also help a family in need.
This time of year is very special, and for many different reasons. For Americans, we’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving and now for a lot of us, we are looking forward to, and preparing for Christmas. We will spend time with our families, and we will try to remember all those great big things in our lives that we are thankful for. Feelings of gratitude come to us naturally at this time of year, but perhaps you’ve thought about trying to cultivate that same spirit of thanksgiving all year long? Last month Crystal hosted a Thirty Day Gratitude Challenge and to go along with the challenge she designed 30 gratitude cards with journaling prompts. Here is an example card and its corresponding journaling prompt:
The cards and prompts fit on an 11 x 8.5 sheet of paper, and can be printed, cut in half, and placed in a 5.5 x 8.5 binder
What prompted Crystal to design this project was a desire to help a family whose father is currently battling brain cancer:
Scott Norton is 30 years old, married to Emily, and a father of two young boys. In August of this year, the family discovered that Scott had a large cancerous brain tumor. He has had two surgeries to remove sections the tumor and has undergone radiation therapy to remove the remaining tumor and to prevent the tumor from spreading. You can read more about their story on Crystal's blog.
The thirty quotes for the gratitude journal that Crystal created come in two sets of 15. Each set costs $2.50. Which means that all 30 quotes with journaling prompts can be downloaded in a high-quality .JPG format for only $5. In addition, the second set of quotes also includes a cover page for the inside of your notebook, a contract and bonus quote, insert for the spine and cover of your notebook, and printable notebook paper. You can find the sets here: Gratitude Quotes Set 1, Gratitude Quotes Set 2.
100% of the proceeds will go to help the Norton family
with their medical expenses.
Maybe you are thinking that you don’t have time right now to start a gratitude journal, or that a thirty day commitment would produce more thoughts of guilt than gratitude. Not a problem! Because the files are high-quality .JPGs they can be resized, or manipulated and used for more than one purpose. For example, I printed the gratitude card from Day 15 as a 4 x 6 photo and used it as a title for this layout:
I also used the journaling prompt for that day to help me focus my thoughts about this photo and that day. The cards and prompts can be used in any way that you’d like which makes this a truly versatile product.
I hope you will take a few moments from your busy schedule today to think about all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Then, please consider helping this young family in need. I know they will be thankful and appreciative of your support!
I’m excited to bring you a series of blog posts about the 2012 Take Twelve Project over the next few weeks—to get you as excited as I am about this upcoming photography project!
Our Guided Inspiration Kit is chock-full of ideas and tools to keep you motivated throughout the project, and you can read about it here if you haven’t already purchased it. Today, however, let's chat about the concept of accountability as it relates to Take Twelve. I know, I know, scrapbooking is supposed to be fun, so what’s with the serious word? Just hear me out, though.
Accountability is a concept we learn early in our lives. We’re expected to follow the rules and be held accountable for the consequences if we don’t. We’re expected to learn a thousand and one things throughout our school years and be held accountable for the evidence of that knowledge. And we’re held accountable for behavior, decisions, and responsibilities every minute of our grown-up days, whether we like it or not.
In scrapbooking, though, accountability is less about rules and consequences and more about sheer FUN and EXCITEMENT—the choice to be accountable to a hobby that makes us happy. It implies that we’re in it together, setting ourselves up for success with our creative friends cheering us along every step of the way.
Here’s the thing: we humans are more likely to achieve great things when there’s cheering. And camaraderie. And chocolate. But I digress.
I entered a few words at wordle.net that came to mind when I thought about the Take Twelve Project, and I love the visual reminder that resulted!
Is it possible to embark on this project alone and see it through successfully? Absolutely. But memory-keeping is more fun when shared with friends and family; the excitement we feel when we create is powerful stuff, and the anticipation we feel before we share is powerful, too.
We here at Ella Publishing Co. want you to have a super-fun time participating in the Take Twelve Project, and we whole-heartedly urge you to grab a friend (or a group of friends) near or far and participate in the Take Twelve Project together!
This week I had the opportunity to hear from Christine Bastian, a relatively new digital scrapbooker with a daughter who lives in Europe. I was moved by her excitement about the 2012 Take Twelve Project:
When I learned about the Take Twelve Project I immediately thought how much fun this would be to do together with Lydia, my daughter. She looking for a new hobby and of course she has a great subject, her baby boy, but I told her that the Take Twelve project was not going to be 12 months of baby pictures. That would be just a baby scrapbook. The Take Twelve is supposed to be about her. Her inspiration, creativity, dreams etc. Because besides being a mom she is still that wonderful creative person and I wanted her to remember that. ;-)
Because she is starting with digital scrapbooking/art I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to do this together. We could help each other, I can help her with translations if needed. Sometimes technical stuff is more difficult to understand in a foreign language. And she and I could connect on another level. She is very much looking forward to it and so am I. I think it will be doable for her even though she has a busy life, it's much more manageable than a 365 project… I'm a true believer in scrapping also the small stuff, the real life stuff and of course journaling with that all.
The support and excitement that Christine and Lydia will share over the course of the Take Twelve Project is what scrapbooking accountability is all about.
We’ll provide the inspiration, you provide the chocolate, and we hope you’ll be clicking away on January 12!
Hi everyone! I've got a great idea for quick and inexpensive Christmas gift albums that you can make for anyone on your list—scrapbooker or not.
Here are three little albums I made for three family members this year—all in one evening! I used $1 brag books I found at my local big box store (just cheap 4 x 6 plastic photo sleeve albums), plus supplies I had on hand and the List It! Christmas Edition (digi plus) png files. The cool thing about the List It! products is that you can download the product once and then print it as many times as you want to make as many gift albums as you want.
I used the included List It! title page on the one side, with a quick page on the left side, featuring a photo of me with three of my siblings and Santa, circa 1984. BUT because I used the .png version of the files, I could colorize them a nice holiday red. (The printable version comes in neutral color palette.)
And guess what? Colorizing and customizing .png files is really quite simple. I even recorded a quick screencast last night to show you how it's done.
See how simple?
The idea with these albums is that my family members can just choose 12 favorite pictures from Christmas to slip into the photo sleeves next to the 12 prompted journaling lists I printed and included in each book. There are a few fun quizzes included in List It! Christmas, so I used a few of those as well. (Click image for a larger view.)
I will also include with the gift an instruction card giving my family members permission to use horizontal OR vertical pictures, just choose their 12 favorite Christmas pictures without regard to whether they "match" the topic of the list on the facing page, and use their own handwriting (no matter how they feel about their handwriting) for a truly meaninful keepsake for their kids. I'll also remind them that this one snapshot of Christmas memories does not constitute a requirement to do this every year. But if it sparks that desire in them, all the better!
I created my three albums assembly-line style to save even more time. So the interior contents of all three are identical. But I couldn't resist customize the covers differently.
The List It! Christmas Edition comes with several types of blank lists (blank title area, lines only, and completely blank inside). I printed a handful of blanks to include in the back cover of each album, in case anyone's not inspired by the particular lists I chose and wants to make up their own.
And, if you're signed up for the Ella email list, you'll be getting a nice coupon today that you can use on any one item between now and December 31.
I plan to give my albms a bit early, so my family can take advantage of that pre-Christmas anticipation that can be a real fuel for creativity and journaling.
I've been enjoying going back and finding favorite posts and ezine articles to share with you all. This is the kick off of our Best of Ella highlights; photo editing and projects
Photo resizing 101 by Rachel Gainer
More free photo effects by Diana Chen
The Tastes and Smells of Christmas
Nothing tastes like Christmas more than hot chocolate. We think this homemade version is fit for Jolly Old Saint Nick himself! But even if your holiday agenda doesn’t include flying in a reindeer-drawn sleigh or delivering presents around the world, you too will need a break from the hustle and bustle at some point. Relax and enjoy this recipe—a perfect pairing with some peppermint bark or a couple of warm sugar cookies.
Now that your lights are up and your tree is trimmed, make your house smell like Christmas, too. This delicious-smelling potpourri recipe is sure to do the trick. It’s so easy to make with items you probably already have in your cupboard.
Check out the One Charming Party website for more great ideas for holiday parties, birthday parties, and more!
It is true, I am a scrapbook product junkie and I needed a fix, so I thought why not include all Ella peeps in the process. Feast your eyes with me at fabulous holiday products that made me swoon.
That is my fix, what products are you excited about? What are you asking for this Christmas??
Hi this is Teresa from Talented Terrace Girls [talentedterracegirls.blogspot.com]. If you are saying what blog is that? Well let me tell you….we are a group of neighbors (8 to be exact) trying to swap and share ideas, recipes, and fun monthly challenges between us girls. We have a bit of everything and we love creating. We just started our blog June 2011 so we are a baby blog, but I am proud to say we have over 150 posts!!
Thanks for letting me share my idea I loved creating it.
Okay let me explain how this idea came to be. Every month over at Talented Terrace Girls we have a challenge where we are given an item and told to “create” something AMAZING! Well this month we were given chipboard. After much deliberation I decided to make a photobook! I have always wanted to create one from scratch but was always a little intimidated until NOW!
Supplies: chipboard, scrapbooking paper, pictures, scissors, glue (mod podge or elmers), embelishments (ribbon, brads, clips, stickers, etc…)
First cut your chipboard to 4”x 4”. I cut 16 pieces and used 2 of those for my covers. If you have a husband who lays carpet like me then you can find a cool knife to cut your boards with ease.
Now cut some paper you will use for binding the book, you will need 1 less then the number of pages you have. I have 14 pages so I cut 13 binding strips. This paper can be seen or unseen. I choose to leave mine seen so I didn’t clog up the page centers. I picked my solid colored paper and cut it to 4”x 2”. Now fold it in half length wise (hotdog style) with the pretty sides facing each other (kissing).
Now take 2 pages and 1 binding strip. Glue the strip onto the 2 pages so it opens like a book. The paper fold will face out leaving 1” pretty inside each page. Continue to glue all your pages together using your binding strip in between each page. Make sure to keep them as straight and flush as possible to create a more precise book.Once they are all glued together I added a thick layer of glue to the back of the binding to give it a little extra strength.
Now the cover! Take a large sheet of scrapbook paper lay it pretty side down, white side up. Then place both your front and back cover on the paper. But wait.. what is the little skinny piece in the picture?? The spine of your book of course! To make the spine cut a 4” piece then place the binding side of your book on the 4” piece and measure or trace the width of your spine. Cut it out and placein between your covers. Leave a little space between your chipboard so you have moveablitiy, allowing you to open and close your book. Now glue your cover and spine to the paper leave a 1” paper excess on each side. Now cute the corners of the paper off (the little green triangle). Now get ready to wrap your book cover! You are going to fold and glue each side down making crisp corners.
Your cover should look like this on the inside.
Next cut 2 pieces of paper 4”x 8” This is the inside page that is attaching your cover and pages together. Fold this paper in half (hamburger) so you have a 4” square on each side of the fold. Cover your first page of the book with glue, then place the 8”x4” paper onto the front page. You need to have the fold match up with the binding side. Let dry for a minute so it won’t shift on you. Then put glue on the inside cover and attach the other half of the 8”x4” paper to the cover. This paper is what holds your cover and pages together. You wont be adding glue to the spine.If you want to tie some ribbon onto the spine of the cover now is the time. Next attach the back cover. TADA!! You have assembled your book.
Now cut and decorate the pages! I cut my main page paper 4”x 3.5” this left a little of my binding color showing on each page. After I attached the main page paper I scuffed it with a little brown ink to give the distressed look.
Let me explain the use of my book-One of the family traditions I grew up with was….Christmas morning pictures on the stairs! Now mind you this was before we got to open our stockings and while we were still wearing our new jammies from Christmas Eve. Lets just say mom has a ton of these Christmas morning pictures so this book is going to be our yearly Christmas morning pictures (I know this pic is not from the morning please don’t judge me I messed up on printing the pictures I thought I could crop them down but NO I need to print them in wallet size cause I edited them all and zoomed them in so there was no crop room)
Here is the cover completed!
This is a look at all the fun paper I used.
I love my little book and can’t wait to make more for gifts. Thanks for reading my post and please check out my fun blog Talented Terrace Girls
The Ella Friends have put together an exciting blog hop TODAY featuring handmade cards inspired by our eBook, 31 Thank You Cards: Express yourself beautifull with 138 tips, tricks, and tutorials.
Visit each of the blogs below, where you'll find a coupon code that will save you $2 off your purchase of 31 Thank You Cards, and find several chances to win a FREE copy of this fabulous eBook for yourself. Visit one and all for more chances to win!
Hi, I'm Lisa Ottosson, and I'm excited to guest blog about a fun project I'm working on for December.
I have done a December mini album for several years (Journal your Christmas, December Daily, you name it!), but only one has been all completed. Ack!
This year, I actually made a minibook quite early since I invested in a Bind-it-All. However, I really don´t need yet another half-done project, and for a while there I didn´t think I´d do a December mini at all.
But then I saw a newsletter in my inbox from Ella Publishing announcing their newest addition to the List It! products; the Christmas edition. A small spark was lit in my creative brain and I continued to ponder…then, one day (or actually it was a night and we were watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy on the couch!) it just hit me; I´ll just base my December mini on Ella's List it! Christmas Edition! I told my husband to pause the show and I went to buy it then and there!
Then I went ahead and chose 24 of the lists, one for each day in December up until the 24th (we celebrate on Christmas Day in Sweden) and printed them out on my printer. I set aside a Saturday where I made my foundation pages and I simply cut the lists by the edges and adhered them to my pages. As you can see, I have cheated and already begun filling out some of the lists! I just couldn´t help myself!
I will be adding in photos, journaling and more embellishments during December.
You are welcome to visit my blog where I have shared more pages and of course will have updates throughout the month.
There's no better time to start YOUR Daily December project than right now.