Angie Lucas's picture

NEW eBook: Stamping Secrets (and another giveaway)

It's the moment we've been waiting for all month long. We've been talking about it, alluding to it, writing eZine articles and blog posts about it. Heck, we devoted the entire month to it.


And now, finally,  Stamping Secrets, the long-awaited eBook, is officially here! And today only (Leap Day) it's 29% off.



Yep! For just $7.80, you get 28 packed pages of stamping secrets, tips, tricks, and tutorials plus access to 20 MINUTES of video instruction from Nichol Magouirk and Ashley Cannon Newell included with your purchase! Here's a 62-second preview of the videos:


Stamping Secrets Video Tutorials from Ella Publishing Co. on Vimeo.


Great deal, right? Tomorrow, this eBook goes back to it's introductory price of $8.79 (which is 20% off the regular price of $10.99) until March 7.

Price:  $10.99
Only $7.80 on Leap Day only!

Peek inside before you buy!



Last Day to Save

As we bid adieu to Stamping Month, we also bid adieu to special sale prices on these great eBooks:

Stamping Secrets
Price:  $10.99
Only $8.79 (through 3/7)

Eight is Enough
Price:  $5.99
Only $4.99 in February

Ella's Essential Guide to
Scrapbooking Boys

Price:  $5.99  
Only $4.99 in February

Ella's Essential Guide to
Scrapbooking Girls

Price:  $5.99  
Only $4.99 in February

A Year in the Life
Price:  $6.99  
Only $5.99 in February

From Paper to Digi
Price:  $9.99  
Only $7.99 in February


Today's Giveaway

To celebrate today's eBook release, we're giving away 5 free copies of Stamping Secrets! Just leave a comment on this post, and we'll draw 5 random winners today and announce the winners March 1st. (If you win and have already purchased this eBook, we'll refund your purchase price.)

And don't forget there's still time to enter our $150 stamp giveaway (which includes all seven stamp sets featured in this eBook) AND our $100 gift certificate giveaway to!

Angie Lucas's picture

Make a Leap Year Time Capsule (+ $100 giveaway)

Exactly four years ago tomorrow, I had an idea for a fun tradition to start every Leap Day. Leap Day was already 75% over by the time the idea struck me, but I didn't let that stop me.


On February 29, 2008, I created a Leap Year Time Capsule! And this year, I opened it one day early, so I could share the contents with you and perhaps inspire you to try something similar tomorrow.


I picked out a cute container from TJ Maxx (actually a wine gift box, I think). And filled it with random evidence of everyday life.


Like pictures I quickly took that night, featuring the members of the household: me, my husband, my stepson, my dog, and my nieces who were over for a slumber party that weekend.


And our favorite snacks. Now petrified.


And the front page of the newspaper, receipts from that day and earlier that week (showing a typical grocery trip), and other random things. Like the cost of a stamp and a gallon of gasoline.

And a list of facts about our lives right now, like the hobbies we're into, latest news, ways we're serving in our church, etc. Mostly I focused on things that I imagined were going to change in the next 4 years. (Example: at the time, we were planning to put our home up for sale. But it turns out that we didn't.)


And a little prediction I asked my mom to write on a sticky note. She was exactly right about having 12 grandkids by 2012! She was less right about my little brother and my little sister being married by now. Know anyone? ;)


And some confidential stats, like our respective salaries, mortgage payment (since I thought that was going to change), weight (also thought that was going to change, ha!), stuff like that.


It was SO fun to look through the things I saved that day four years ago and reflect on how things have changed. Jeremy is now 17 and about to graduate. We have a 17-month-old baby. We said goodbye to our sweet Ruby, and we now have a 2-year-old crazy dog. Jobs and salaries have changed. Postage stamps and gasoline are more expensive. It's the stuff of life.


Give it a try! I'm making another one this year. Hopefully this one will be a little prettier, planned out, coordinated in some way. But even if it's not, that's not the point, is it?


For extra help capturing the details of your everyday life (perhaps in a darling little notebook for your time capsule), pick up the List It! Everyday Life Edition journaling guide. All List It! products are 29% off through Leap Day!


Happy Leap Day!


And Now For Today's Giveaway

We continue our Stamping Month wrap-up with another fantastic giveaway.

We're excited to introduce you to a new online scrapbooking retailer,! It's a cool story: a friend and business consultant of Ella Publishing Co. recently purchased an existing online retailer that was about to close its doors. He's now giving it an extreme makeover, so please pardon any dust. It has a cool new name and logo, a new and evolving website, and it will soon have an infusion of new products. But in the meantime, there are plenty of products in inventory that are still cute and trendy—hundreds of which are available at 25% off for the grand opening.



Lucky for you, is celebrating Stamping Month by offering EVERYONE a 50% off coupon (that's off the already discounted grand-opening prices) on anything in the stamps and inks category. Use code ELLAFEB50 at checkout through February 29, 2012 to save your 50%, and you'll also get FREE SHIPPING on your order (to U.S. addresses).


Now THAT'S a deal! Click here to take your pick of stamping goodies, from Pink Paislee, Sassafrass Lass, Autumn Leaves, 7Gypsies, Prima, Inkadinkadoo, and more. Oh, and inks too! (I myself can't say enough good things about the My Mind's Eye 8-color inkpads. I love mine!)


Also leave comment on this post to enter today's giveaway for a $100 gift certificate to, which includes free shipping to U.S. addresses! Entries accepted through Wednesday, February 29. Randomly drawn winner posted March 1st.

(Tip: yesterday's giveaway is also open through Wednesday!)


Christa Paustenbaugh's picture

Eight HAD To Be Enough


When taking the challenge to use just 8 products on my page I went in thinking it wouldn't be so hard. I quickly found out that 8 HAD to be enough and that on my usual pages there are way more than 8 products! It is normally small bits and pieces here and there which tends to add up to quite a few products in the end. I started off choosing several sheets of patterned paper because I knew when push came to shove I had my trusty punches to make the paper into various images. I am terrible at planning my entire page ahead, including all embellishments and final touches. I knew one or more of these items would be swapped out and that's exactly what happened in the end.

I ended up swapping out the brad for some alpha stickers because for some reason a title never entered my equation in the beginning! I also utilized both sides of my patterned papers. That pink paper had those lovely flowers on the other side and I decided to cut one down as an added embellishment. I also used that side of the paper to punch out some butterflies for more embellishment in the title.


Finally, you know those lovely strips on the bottom of a lot of 12 x 12 papers these days? I cut those down from these papers and adhered them along the bottom. Limiting myself to 8 products made me thing outside the box and get even more creative with my page. I also didn't find myself running back and forth to my craft room to find that "perfect" piece to go on my page!


And because we are celebrating stamping this month, I the certified amateur stamper, found a way to make a stamp one of my eight products!  This was a great challenge for myself and I challenge you to the same thing.  It's rather liberating to go the less is more route.

Ashley Cannon Newell's picture

Create a spring card

Hello Ella Friends, I’m Ashley and am so happy to share a project with you today. I’m going to spring forward a bit and jump to Easter. Traditionally, the spring season exudes pastel hues, Easter eggs, and bunny rabbits. Inspired by those seasonal characteristics, I created this card.



  1. Trim chevron patterned paper to about 3.5” x 4.75” and stitch a border.
  2. Using pinking shears, add decorative border, then adhere to an A2 card front.
  3. Trim polka dot patterned paper to about 1.5” wide and die cut angled shape from tag die. Adhere to top and bottom of card front.
  4. Add ribbon treatment. Attach glittered button with twine to ribbon knot.
  5. Die cut oval, stamp sentiment, and adhere three egg nests. Adhere to card front center with foam adhesive.

Tips & Tricks

  • To add ribbon to a card front where a scored line interferes, simply use a craft knife to cut a small opening to allow ribbon to thread through the card front.
  • Use dies to create a decorative edge. I used a tag die to create a pennant element for this card.
  • Carry themes throughout a project. On this card, I was inspired by the chevron patterned paper and used pinking shears to add a decorative edge, then die cut a pinking oval to tie it all together. The pennant elements also follow the same chevron zig zag pattern.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix patterns! Here, I combined chevron with polka dots. An easy way to accomplish mixing patterns is to combine papers from the same collection, but it is definitely not required. Dig through all of your patterned papers and get the most out of them.


Cards are so much fun to create and I try not to let the constraints of an envelope size place limits on my creativity. If a card is a bit too bulky for an envelope, I typically use a larger envelope or package it in a small box. If the card is being hand delivered, my favorite way to package it is in a glassine bag. Since it is a handmade card, I think it deserves the extra packaging and postage.


If you are interested in learning more about stamping embellishments, join me for in my video class at Miss Art’s Paper Crafting School.


Thank you, Ella, for welcoming me into your blog home for the day and thanks Ella Friends for taking a peek at my project.


About Ashley: Ashley Cannon Newell and her husband, McArthur, enjoy a happy life in Manassas, Virginia. By day, Ashley works as a legal editor, but she devotes evenings to her hobbies: cooking, photography, and paper crafting. She began stamping in 2008 and is a member of the Papertrey Ink Release Design Team. Get to know her better at

****Enter our Big Huge stamp set giveaway details here***

Angie Lucas's picture

Giveaway: Seven Stamp Sets to ONE Winner!

Well, folks, Stamping Month is going out with a bang this week!



The next three days are packed with exciting giveaways, articles, sales, and...(drumroll please)...the release this Wednesday of our NEWEST eBook, Stamping Secrets: 7 sensational stamp sets used 21 ways, which includes four exclusive how-to videos from Nichol Magouirk and Ashley Cannon Newell! The eBook also features the work of Lea Lawson, Nancy Burke, Robyn Werlich, Shari Carroll, and Shemaine Smith.



It is truly amazing. I was so inspired by this eBook that the last three layouts and seven cards I've created have ALL featured stamps. I'm officially hooked.


And to get you excited for the upcoming eBook (just THREE more days!), today we're giving away all seven stamp sets featured in the eBook to one lucky winner, drawn randomly. And they are:

Ordinary Days by Ali Edwards for Technique Tuesday (value of $14.99)
Delicate Doilies by Stampin’ Up! (value of $24.39)


Table Service by Papertrey Ink (value of $24)
Flower Star Wreath by BasicGrey and Hero Arts (value of $14.99)


Many Thanks by Lawn Fawn (value of $15)
Untitled Hearts by Hero Arts (value of $12)

January SMAK Kit by Unity Stamp (value of $45)



ONE lucky winner today (randomly drawn from the comments) will take home $150 worth of stamps, pictured above! All you have to do is leave a comment telling us which of the pictured stamp sets is your favorite.


ONE additional lucky winner randomly drawn from the comments will receive the February SMAK Kit by Unity Stamp (value of $45). We'll ship free to winners with U.S. addresses. International winners will pay shipping. Deadline for comments is Wednesday, February 29. Winners announced March 1.


And, if you please, we'd love for you to like us on Facebook. (Liking us on Facebook will not earn additional entries into this contest, but it will earn you our undying devotion—and the exclusive news, deals, and giveaways we offer to our Facebook fans! One in particular is coming on Tuesday...)


p.s. Have you heard about this?

Audrey Neal's picture

8 is Enough: Using Fonts to Stretch Your Supplies

The 8 is Enough e-book, with its message of stretching supplies and using leftovers, takes me back several years to my switch from paper scrapbooking to digital scrapbooking. My paper supplies were taking over my craft room, and it seemed as though scrapbooking had become more about the products than about the process. My switch to digital scrapbooking was a means of simplifying my memory-keeping process, and it was the right choice for me. As part of the switch, I became a one-kit scrapper, pulling papers and elements for each layout from one single kit. 

I also paid more attention to how much use I could get from a digital kit, seeking out kits that had items that were easy to recolor or alter in different ways. I've found that text-based elements often provide me with the most flexibility, as shown in my layout "Right Now," which uses papers and elements exclusively from my Currently digital kit

I used 8 items: the red cardstock, striped patterned paper, paint, staples, word tab (loving), stitched stars, paper stars, and confetti. In addition, I put the font Dirty Headline to use in three different ways:

  1. I created a series of words on my background paper in red, then set the blend mode to multiply and reduced the opacity.
  2. I stamped "RIGHT NOW" in white ink on all of my photos, rotating the orientation.
  3. I merged the phrase "RIGHT NOW" with my striped paper and then deleted the letters, creating a papercut effect. I then outlined the phrase in dark gray and put that beneath the cutout layer to create additional depth.

Whether you are a digital, hybrid, or paper scrapper, text-based elements provide you with an amazing array of design opportunities, so grab those alphabet stamps, peruse your font collection, and start scrapping!

Shemaine Smith's picture

Scrapbooking Girls


Little girls are so special. I have wanted a daughter for as long as I can remember. I'll never forget the day of my ultra sound, holding my breath as the Doctor had a look at my baby and the feeling of the tears falling down my checks as I anxiously waited for him to speak. ( I know ...I was totally hormonal) When he finally looked at me and said what I'd secretly hoped and prayed he would say, it was like the world was suddenly brighter than I'd ever seen it. Now that's not to say that I wasn't just as emotional and full of joy over the birth of my son but there is something magical about having a girl.


Scrapbooking my daughter's last 4 years is something I have thoroughly enjoyed but just like you, I run out of ideas for themes and "girly" topics. Ella's Essential guide to scrapbooking girls is full of great ideas and as I flipped thru the issue I loved Daddy's Little Princess on p8.


I scrapped a layout documenting some of the fun things my husband does with our daughter and chose some silly photos that I knew would make her giggle at any age. Here's my take on this challenge.




I loved Nicole's suggested formula of using a floral pattern, pink and scalloped circles for instant femininity. I applied that combination by choosing patterned paper, chipboard and thickers from Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection. For the scalloped circles I created my own flowers from coordinating patterned paper.





Since February is Stamping Month here at Ella, I also incorporated this month's theme in my layout by using Unity Stamp Company's February SMAK (Scrapbooking Mixed Media & Altered Art) kit. For me, stamps add an extra element to my layouts and I really like that I can create so many ways to use them.



A suggestion I'd like to share is that when you use stamps with your layouts, have fun overlapping your images with different colored inks like I did here. For the Together  image I used black onyx ink by Versafine (my #1 choice of black ink) and for the Happy image, Studio G green chalk ink.


If you're struggling with layout themes for photos of your little girl, then check out Ella's Essential Guide to Scrapbooking Girls available thru February 29th for only 4.99! That's a $1 off.


p.s. Ella has an Essential Guide for Scrapbooking Boys, too! Available now.

Sara Douglass's picture

My Favorite Things about Stamping

February is the month of love, and since I love stamping there’s no better month to celebrate stamping, IMHO (unless it’s every month)! I’m excited to share a few of my favorite things about stamping with you . . .

I love texture and dimension, not just on projects but on everything! And there are so many ways to create texture in stamping. . . this butterfly card is a great example. To create this card, I used Stampin’ Up!’s Apothecary Art stamp set. Those images, plus the embossed background, the different accessories (brad, ribbon, hairpin, etc.), and three different layers of the butterfly creates all kind of texture on this card.

As a mother of five young children, saving time is a top priority for me, so I’m always looking for simplicity. One of my favorite things about stamping is that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to create a simple, handmade, heartfelt card. . . and yet, you can still do lots of fun things that keep your project interesting. For this card, I used the You’re My Type stamp set and a basic color palette to create a fun card in only  minutes. I especially liked the way the paper looks like it’s coming out of the typewriter. . .

I also really love the versatility that stamping provides. With a few simple supplies, I can create projects for all kinds of different occasions by just changing the colors or using different images. These two birthday boxes are made from Stampin’ Up!’s Sweet Cake stamp set , yet they look completely different. All I did was change up the colors, add different accessories, and I have the perfect gift for a girl OR a boy!

Finally, I love to feel like I’m an artist. With stamps, I already have beautiful images . . . all I have to do is ink and stamp.  This simple yet elegant frame features Stampin’ Up!’s Bordering on Romance set, and while it wasn’t hard to create, it does look like it was made by someone who is pretty artistic!

You can find all of these stamp sets and many of the accessories in Stampin’ Up!’s Occasions Mini Catalog; check it out here. You can also check out our complete product offerings at our website.


Today we are giving away our Bordering on Romance stamp (image above) to one lucky Ella reader. Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on this blog post sharing what you love about stamping. Giveaway closes in 48 hours 10:00 am MT 2/24


*Update on 2/27: And the winner is random comment #102, bevk. Congratulations!


So here’s to celebrating stamping—this month and always!



Sara Douglass, Stampin’ Up!


Angie Lucas's picture

New Video: How To Make Book Paper Garlands


Wendy and I are back on with another set of twelve Books & Crafts episodes! A new show airs every Tuesday for the next 12 weeks.


This week's episode is all about book-paper garlands. And at just 6 minutes long, it's short, sweet, and inspiring.

And at the end of the episode, all viewers get a coupon code (CREATIVE) to save $2 on Stacy Julian's awesome UR2 Cre8ive eBook. Join us!


Missy Gener's picture

Is Eight Enough?

This month I am taking the eight is enough blog challenge. I decided that I wanted to work with some older photos of my son during his first year. I have yet to finish his baby book and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to make some fun and quick layouts using only eight products. (Cardstock, adhesive, and journaling tool ie pens and computer fonts are freebies.) I wanted to choose products that would be versatile enough to create several layouts. So let's take a look at my supplies.


The biggest challenge for me was patterned paper. I love patterned paper and I could not see just choosing three or four sheets. My solution, I chose an 8x8 paper pad as one of my products. Cheating? I don't think so , but you be the judge. Now I had 24 8x8 sheets to work with. I also chose some buttons, label stickers, bakers twine, a stamps set, a border punch, my Tiny Attacher, and my Silhouette Cameo diecut machine. Here is my layout.



As you look at this layout you may wonder how I got an 11 inch piece of paper from an 8x8 pad. One of the great things about 8x8 or 6x6 pads is that you often get multiples of the same pattern. I just took two sheets of each paper and carefully lined up the images to make a longer sheet. I glued them together and even I can't tell now where the seam is, can you?

Because I chose so few embellishments as items I had to get a little creative. My labels became my star embellishments and my stamp set helped in creating the groups of smaller embellishments. Although this layout is not quite as embellished as most of my pages, I still think I kept true to my style while working within the constraints of using only 8 products.

So, do you think that you can create a layout using only eight products. I certainly think that you can. I invite you all to play along with us this month as we create inspiring layouts using only eight products. So, is eight enough? Judging from my layout I would say most definitely yes.

Ella's picture

Books and Crafts Season One THE REPURPOSED LIBRARY

Announcement Books and Crafts Season 2 starts tomorrow!! Check it out on


This book is full of awesome and beautiful projects made out of books,The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life, by Lisa Occhipinti. The photography is both beautiful and instructional. You won't be disappointed. the project we show is the treasure box.


You can see the full instructions from the book to create the treasure box shown in the Books and Crafts episode above and the image above, here on the publishers website.

Watch a short video of the author creating projects from books below.

Off to make more stuff!

February Take Twelve Roundup

Happy February 19th! It's a nice little by-product of the Take Twelve project that the 19th gets a little extra attention each month, isn't it? Welcome to this month's February Take Twelve round-up, where I feature some of our Take Twelve team member pages and encourage you to take some time to visit the pages/photos that our creative participants have posted all week long through InLinkz. What amazing moments and memories you're capturing! 

If you're following along with the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit, this month suggested to look around for color as you took your twelve photos. Take Twelve team members Aliza Deutsch and Lisa Ottosson both used this challenge on Sunday; you might think their results would be similar, but you couldn't be further from the truth. Check out their photos, first:

Lisa's take on colors

Aliza's take on colors

I absolutely love the contrast of their results. There are so many factors that influence our photography; our personalities, our preferences, our geography... Lisa took her photos within her home in Sweden, while Aliza headed outside in her New York City neighborhood. They both turned their photos into stunning pages:

8 x 11.5 spread by Lisa Ottosson; click to read more about this layout

12 x 12 spread by Aliza Deutsch; click to read more about this layout

They might have very different results, but one thing holds true: no matter where you live or what your color preference, kraft cardstock is awesome!


Team member Jennie McGarvey focused her camera on the slow, easy pace of a cold, February day. Doesn't her color scheme just scream cheerful? Her page is a great reminder to capture what you love about family life—sometimes the weeks get so busy and the pace gets so wild that a scrapbook page about a relaxed Sunday is not just a nice addition, but essential to our mental health!


12 x 12 page by Lisa Day; click to read more about this layout


Lisa captured 12 "moments of love" for her Feburary page, and captures the feel of Valentine's Day without being overly Valentine-y with her product choices. Check out how she mixed a wood grain pattern with a chevron pattern—it works so well because of her uniform photo size! Don't feel like you have to journal full sentences and paragraphs every month; notes are a perfect way to convey what's going on in each photo so you won't forget years down the line.


Click image for larger view


And, coming in at the last minute, Ella owner Angie Lucas finished, photographed, and uploaded her February layout late at night on the 18th. Her page features a traditional Valentine's Day palette, with two color photos taken on her SLR camera and nine black and white photos taken via the Instagram iPhone app.

Like Lisa Day, Angie opted for short-and-sweet journaling this month. And she couldn't resist including stamping techniques in her design, since February is Stamping Month at Ella Publishing Co.!

All of the stamps on Angie's page are by Fiskars, and she used Close to My Heart Ink with Top Boss clear embossing powder.


Check out what some of our other Take Twelve team members have been up to this week:










And finally, let's all give a cheer for DebB, #26 in the fantastic collection of pages you all submitted for this month's giveaway from Stampin' Up! Deb will receive My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up (and the rest of you can try it out for free!).


Congratulations! Just because our roundup is finished for this month doesn't mean the scrapbooking is over... keep working on those February Take Twelve pages and add them to our Take Twelve Flickr group so we can continue to be inspired until March 12 rolls around!

Grace Tolman's picture

“At this Moment” layout- Eight is Enough project

Hello Ella fans, Grace here to share with you a page I made which was inspired by the “Eight is Enough” ebook. I have to say that this was a daunting challenge for me as I like to layer my projects with all sorts of goodies and having limited myself to just eight products was a bit scary! But here’s the result….

I started off with these products….

Supplies Used:
I Cardstock
3 Pattern papers from the Nantucket line of Pink Paislee
1 Letter sticker sheet from American Crafts
1 button pack from Fancy Pants Design
1 Baker’s twine (stone color from Twinery)
1 Pen

After thinking the challenge through I realized that I would be able to remain true to my style if I pick more papers than anything else. I love the versatility of papers and with a few dimensional adhesives, I knew that I’d be able to come up with ways I can create my own embellishments with them. Because this is a ‘boy’ themed layout I also went with a more masculine color scheme and chose buttons for my accents.


One of the great ways to maximize your products, especially for a challenge like this is to cut out the inside portions of your big papers that you will be using for background or matting. I did just that with the yellow/beige diagonal striped paper. With this technique, I was able to use the leftover papers to make a small diamond box that housed one of my button and also the yellow strips that I placed by my title.

A few more techniques I did for this page…
1. When I was outlining the letters for my title, I goofed off on the “a” and got the pen line inside the letter. After I pulled off the bad “a”, I realized that I liked the negative look on it so I peeled off two more stickers to make it a cohesive look.
2. I wanted to add that beige strip of paper in the middle over my red diagonal pattern but I didn’t like the “flat” look of it so I crimpled the strip, added notches to both ends to mimic ribbon and created my own design by outlining the circles from my buttons. Fast, easy and cheap!
3. I like the look of machine stitching but because I have very limited supplies to work with, I just used my pen instead. I believe Pens are a great tool to use on any page. You can doodle with it, write your journaling and as you saw in my page, mimic machine stitching. The possibilities are endless.

To see a few more detailed shots of the layout, you can check my blog here.


Make sure to get a copy of the ebook “Eight is Enough” here. There are so many ideas and tips that you can get to making the most of your scrapbook supplies today.


Happy Crafting everyone.

Missy Gener's picture

Scrapbooking Your Holiday Photos

Confession time: I am terrible about scrapbooking holidays. Sure, I take a ton of photos and I have the best intentions, but time and time again they sit unused on my hard drive. It's not that I don't want to preserve those memories,  I'm just not inspired to scrapbook them. I was so thrilled when I bought The Creative Ideas for Events and Holidays e-book because I knew it would be filled with ideas to jump start my holiday scrapbooking.


I decided to take on one of the challenges in the book. The challenge was to create a photo collage from an event or holiday and scrapbook it. I chose to use photos from our most recent Valentine's Day festivities. I knew I wanted to include both detailed and portrait shots, so I new this would work well. Let's take a look at my results.


I don't have time to individually size each photo, that would have taken hours to size each one perfectly (a slight exaggeration) so I used an template that was pre-sized. By using to template designed for photo collages, I was able to quickly add my images to the file and then print. From start to finish this only took me about 15 minutes. Much faster than doing my all myself. I used Photoshop to create mine, but there are a host of programs out there that do the same things, some of which are free.


I loved using the collage because for the first time, I was able to capture the whole holiday in one layout. I love that I could include little details along with individual and group shots. I will be using this technique again as I conquer the mountain of holiday photos that currently live on my hard drive.


So, if you are like me and love to take photos of holidays and event, but have a really hard time scrapbooking them I highly recommend the Events and Holidays e-book. It is packed with over 30 ideas, challenges and prompts to help you break that scrapper's rut.

kelly vandermolen's picture

Is Eight Really Enough?

After having made two layouts with my chosen eight with plenty of product left over for a few more cards and/or layouts I would have to answer my own question (it is a bad habit of mine!, and, I didn't even give you a chance to answer, did I?) with a resounding 'yes!' I am a dedicated user of scrapbooking kits and consequently I have become accustomed to using little bits and pieces of more than eight products on occasion. But, as the title tells you...

and honestly, eight really is enough. I chose the following products to use:

  1. expressions woodshop letters by Pink Paislee;
  2. ae simply you stamps by Technique Tuesday (I counted this for two because I used two different stamps from the set);
  3. ae stamp set
  4. 1.25 inch circle punch by Stampin' Up;
  5. black ink by Stampin' Up;
  6. Crate patterned paper.
  7. Crate Paper patterned paper
  8. Lilybee patterned paper

And, I should also mention that the papers and letters are from the 'A Love Story' Kit from Elle's Studio. Okay, now that that is out of the way, I will show you two of the layouts I made.

The one thing I found to be true with this experience is that when products are limited, they are given a chance to shine and at the same time, they do not detract from your photo or your story. There is no competition going on. I really like that! On this layout, I only used 6 of the eight products but I did take the liberty of using some 'freebies'! Did you notice? In the book, there are some freebies that are a given including journaling pens, cardstock, fonts, and machine stitching. Yeah! I think I stitch on approximately 90% of my layouts so it was a happy discovery to find that the lovely ladies whose work is included in this book do the same!

Okay, now for one more layout:

Again, I think the journaling and the photo really have a chance to shine in this layout. So, if you are up for the challenge, I encourage you to read the 8 is enough ebook and challenge yourself to create as much as you can with eight favourite products.

Oh, and, I have just realized that today is Valentine's Day. I wish you a happy and lovely day with a little chocoate on the side, of course.

Editor's Note: Yep, it's Stamping Month! We've got more fun layouts coming from our other 2012 Ella Friends this month. We challenged each of them to take the Eight is Enough challenge (from our eBook of the same name), and include at least one stamp technique in their 8 supplies. And yes, digital stamps do count! The Eight is Enough challenge encourages you to conserve your time and supplies in order to be creative within limits. Plus, it's just plain fun!

Psst... It's February 12!

It's hard to believe it's been an entire month since we kicked off the Take Twelve photography challenge! If you're new to the concept, take a minute to read about it all here. It's definitely not to late to join in—a calendar year is a calendar year whether you start in January, February, or July!


A few reminders as you pick up your cameras:

+ There are no rules! Use whatever camera—or combination of cameras—you like.


+ Stop in to check out what beautiful photographs and scrapbook pages are filling up the 2012 Take Twelve Flickr Group! Better yet, why not become a member yourself and share your Take Twelve photography challenge results, too? Check out two beautiful pages that were added after the January round:

from Flickr member KTnestingspot


from Flickr member MajiclnOz


+ Want to quickly connect with other Take Twelve photography challenge participants? Use the hashtag #take12 on Twitter or Instagram to see what others are up to on February 12.


+ If you bought the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit don't forget to check the February list of fun photo ideas! You'll never be at risk of taking the same photos over and over every month with your photo checklists in hand... unless you want to, of course. It might be fun to include a photo each month in the same location! If you didn't buy the kit, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, go grab it—we'll wait!


+ Do you have a little more time or creative energy to pour into your photos today? Try this month's themed project, found in the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit. (Of course, you can always take twelve everyday photos and complete the themed project—remember, no rules!) Check out what an amazing job Ella Friend Audrey Neal did with January's themed project, all about collections:

You can see Audrey's photos in more detail in the Take Twelve Flickr group. They're fantastic! I already warned her to lock up those globes and cameras, ha!


Whether you plan to add your pages to already established albums or to create a special album or mini-album for your Take Twelve pages, why not create a cover page to tie them all together like 2011 Ella Friend Valerie Mangan did? What a great idea!

cover page by Valerie Mangan


Get clicking then come back for your chance to receive a treat from this month's Take Twelve sponsor, Stampin' Up! One lucky recipient will receive the acclaimed My Digital Studio software from Stampin' Up, a $79.95 value. It's simple and easy to navigate, allowing users of all levels to create beautiful, professional looking digital pages with trendy page templates and digital products. Ordering photo books through the software is a snap, and all colors are guaranteed to match Stampin' Up's physical products for hybrid scrapbooking. You can create some pretty cool results using My Digital Studio software!


Enter This Month's Giveaway

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Jennifer Wilson's picture

Together: Scrapbooking Family Perspectives on Baby's Arrival

Almost six months ago I had a beautiful baby girl, whom we named Emily. It is no surprise that I am scrapbooking a lot of memories related to her right now.

While I have so many wonderful photos of Emily, I'm currently focusing my energy on telling the stories of those of us around her. By documenting a range of viewpoints, I hope to give Emily an idea of how her family felt at the time of her arrival.

I absolutely love this photo of me holding Emily shortly after we came home from the hospital. Through my journaling, I sought to document that it was a joyous but bittersweet time as I dealt with the emotions of this huge change and physical trauma of birth.


For this digital page, I used the Retrouvailles kit from One Little Bird and Vinnie Pearce. Kits, whether coordinated digital lines or from a traditional kit club, can save you time by pre-coordinating papers, stamps and embellishments.

Because most real patterned paper is double-sided, I have included six digital papers as three products, representing A and B sides. You can get a lot of design mileage and versatility from a small number of patterned papers or a coordinating paper pack.

Also, like real stamps, digital stamps can be used multiple times on a page.

1. Paper: A - blue floral , B - coral pattern
2. Paper: A - blue herringbone, B - blue solid
3. Paper: A - yellow dot , B - kraft
4. Embellishment: pieced chevron
5. Stamp: text, recolored and used twice
6. Stamp: red "Together"
7. Stitching: Stitched by Anna White No 9
8. Template: Simple Scrapper Premium Membership


Editor's Note: Yep, it's Stamping Month! We've got more fun layouts coming from our other 2012 Ella Friends this month. We challenged each of them to take the Eight is Enough challenge (from our eBook of the same name), and include at least one stamp technique in their 8 supplies. And yes, digital stamps do count! The Eight is Enough challenge encourages you to conserve your time and supplies in order to be creative within limits. Plus, it's just plain fun!

Angie Lucas's picture

Valentine's Giveaway!

Click image for larger view!


Many thanks to our friends at ADORNit for offering this Happy Hearts giveaway—just in time for Valentine's Day!


They're just showing their love for scrapbookers everywhere, and what's not to love?


One random commenter will receive the Happy Hearts Papercrafting Collection and Happy Hearts Fabric Fat Quarter Stack.


Here are a few projects made with these gorgeous products:


Are you dying to have a "heart attack" just like this in your home?


Leave a comment sharing anything you love (or don't love :) about Valentine's Day, and we'll pick a random winner Friday, February 10! (We'll ship the prize for free in the continental U.S.; international shipping charges may apply.)


For extra entries, visit ADORNit's blog and leave a comment or "like" their Facebook page, then come back here and leave an extra comment for each thing you did. (Honor system.)


Upate 02/12/12: And the winner is comment #15 kimpe. Congrats!

Melissa Shanhun's picture

Eight is Enough Digi style

I have a confession to make, the Eight is Enough Challenge was a tough one for me! 


At first I didn't think I'd even need 8 items on my layout; then at the last minute I realised I had nine! (Can I convince you that that blue paper is the B side of the chevron?) And truly, the exact number doesn't matter as much as the goal of setting aside a small group of supplies and sticking to those—as a way of conserving time and supplies and being creative within limits.

Almost everything I used in this came from this digital kit from Flergs and Sugarplum Paperie: Garden Whimsy:

  1. Chevron paper
  2. Scalloped border
  3. Flower embellishment
  4. Alphabet
  5. Ric rac
  6. Blue Paper
  7. Cream paper (I cut it out with my cookie cutter tool in Photoshop Elements)
  8. Bracket set
  9. I also used part of an old (2009!) template from Karen Maggie for the distressed white look on the plan. 

Flergs & Sugarplum Paperie Garden Whimsy Kit


I am totally in love with the chevron pattern, so I'm planning to make a matching page to go opposite this one with a photo collage of our home.

Quick Tip: I gave my house plan a blueprint look by using the Lighten blend mode on it a popping on a bluish paper.


Looking for ideas to stretch your supplies and grow your creativity?
Let our Eight is Enough eBook prove that 8 is enough for you! And this eBook is on sale for just $4.99 for the month of February, which is Stamping Month at Ella Publishing Co.! (There are several fun and versatile stamping ideas in this eBook.)
Rachel Gainer's picture

Are You Wearing Red Today?

Today is National Wear Red Day! Ella friends nationwide are donning red to raise awareness about heart disease, and we invite you to join us.


Put on a red dress, t-shirt, shoes, necklace, lipstick, or ribbon—we know you have that! Then share a photo with us through our linky party (details at the end of this post). One random party guest will receive a Color Mists prize pack from Studio Calico and a red dress pin from the American Heart Association.



Heart disease kills one American woman every minute.* Who will be next? Will it be you? Will it be someone you love? Fight back by warning the women in your life and taking action together. The American Heart Association makes it easy, just click here to tell 5 friends what you already know: heart disease kills, but we don’t have to be its victims.


Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to tell female friends and relatives you want them around for years to come. Share your love, appreciation, and admiration with one of these girly greeting cards, tags, or gifts from our Ella friends. Plus, download a free printable.



Card by Christa Paustenbaugh


Card by Jennifer Wilson


Card by Kelly VanDerMolen


Card by Grace Tolman


Card by Grace Tolman


Card by Grace Tolman


Tag by Shemaine Smith


Tag by Shemaine Smith


Jar of Hearts by Elizabeth Dillow


Free Printable by Audrey Neal [download available at end of post]


Show Us Your Red for a Chance to Win

To enter, upload a picture of yourself wearing red to your blog or any photo-sharing service; then link it up below by February 5. One random winner will be drawn from the entries below and announced the week of February 6.



Note: If you don't have a blog or a place where you typically upload your layouts, feel free to add your layout to our Ella Publishing Flickr Gallery, and then add it to the Inlinkz collection above from there.

* Statistics provided by the American Heart Association (AHA). To learn more about heart disease, risk factors, and prevention, visit the AHA at

Rachel Gainer's picture

Love Your Heart

You love your family. You would do anything to keep them safe and healthy. What would they do without you? Probably, eat cereal for every meal, wear dirty t-shirts to school, and forget to wash behind their ears. But, seriously, what would they do if they lost you to a heart attack?


According to the American Heart Association:*
Heart disease is the no. 1 killer of American women over age 20, claiming approximately 1 woman every minute.
• More women die of heart disease than the next five causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. In fact, 1 in 3 American women dies of heart disease.
• 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.


Fortunately, you don’t have to be a statistic: 80% of cardiac events in women can be prevented by monitoring and managing risk factors through diet and exercise. Controllable risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking (learn more here).


You can make small lifestyle changes today that will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Start by setting one simple goal. Choose from the list below, or visit to find out how you can live heart healthy at any age.


Start now!
• Learn the warning signs of a heart attack, and watch this video about a supermom who takes care of everyone but herself.
• Research your family’s history of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease/heart attack. Heredity can increase your risk for developing heart disease. The more you know, the more you can do to reduce your risk.
• Find your numbers: total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, fasting glucose, height, weight, and waist in inches. Use these numbers to complete the Go Red Heart CheckUp. You manage what you measure, so start keeping a log.
• Try a new heart-healthy recipe, or adapt one of your own using heart-smart substitutions.
• Increase your physical activity: recruit a walking buddy, try an exercise band routine, enroll in a workout class, or go outside and play with your kids.


I asked Ella friends to share what they’re doing to become heart healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease. I was amazed and inspired by their commitment, and I hope you will be, too. If you’ve made changes—or plan to—leave a comment so we can cheer you on!


Album Pages by Kelly VanDerMolen [click for larger view]

Kelly started this album to document her experience training for a walking half-marathon.


Layout by Elizabeth Dillow [click for larger view]

Elizabeth designed this layout as a reminder of the risk factor she inherited and her reasons for keeping it in check.


Layout by Christa Paustenbaugh [click for larger view]

Christa and her husband started running for sport, but they keep running to set a good example for their children.


Layout by Melissa Gener [click for larger view]

Melissa, a doctor and mother of two, started a weight-loss program three years ago and has lost over 58 lbs. She will be running her first 5K in March.


Layout by Robyn Schaub [click for larger view]

After almost giving up, Robyn signed up for a weight-loss program at work and has lost almost 35 lbs. She feels healthier, happier, and more confident, and she's proud of the example she's setting for her girls.


Layout by Audrey Neal [click for larger view]

Audrey's layout reflects on her father's early passing and shares the motivation she feels to keep her heart strong so she'll be around to see her daughters grow up.


Journal by Grace Tolman [click for larger view]

Grace created this health journal to track her important numbers and keep track of her goals.


Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day! Help raise awareness about heart disease by dressing in red and inviting your family and friends to do the same. We’ll be celebrating with female-friendly love notes, a linky party (show off your favorite red apparel), and a giveaway from Studio Calico. So come back, and join the fun!


* Statistics provided by the American Heart Association (AHA). To learn more about heart disease, risk factors, and prevention, visit the AHA at

Rachel Gainer's picture

Ella Has Heart—Do You?


February is National Heart Month—as in, the human heart—and we’re celebrating with three days of heartfelt stories and projects leading up to National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 3. This is a day for women nationwide to band together in raising awareness about heart disease and making personal commitments to improve their own heart health.


The term “heart disease” describes a wide range of heart-related illnesses, including those that lead to cardiac arrest. Heart disease is our nation’s no. 1 killer, causing 40.6% of all deaths—nearly 2,200 Americans each day.*


Most of us know at least one person affected by heart disease, and some of us are fighting our own battles. I invited Ella friends coast-to-coast to share personal stories about heart disease and other heart-related illnesses. Their poignant layouts reminded me of my own reason for taking up the cause.


One year ago, my husband and I adopted Daphne, a baby girl with half a heart. She lived just 58 days, passing away shortly after her second heart surgery. The causes of congenital heart defects are unclear, so it’s impossible to know whether Daphne’s condition could have been avoided. But most types of adult-onset heart disease are preventable, and my time with Daphne taught me to cherish and fight for more time with those we love. We must start by taking care of our own hearts; then we must ask our loved ones to do the same.


I hope these layouts will inspire you to join the fight against heart disease. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and tomorrow I’ll show you how to get started. If you or someone you love has been affected by heart disease, please share your story in the comments. And if you’ve created a layout, don't forget to include a link.


Layout by Rachel Gainer [click for larger view]


Layout by Katrina Kennedy [click for larger view]


Layout by Audrey Neal [click for larger view]


Layout by Kelly VanDerMolen [click for larger view]


* Statistics provided by the American Heart Association (AHA). To learn more about heart disease, risk factors, and prevention, visit the AHA at