Angie Lucas's picture

Secret Happy Birthday Sale!

So spring is here, flowers are in bloom, birds are chirping, and it's even my birthday too!  I love it when I get a good-weather birthday. (It does NOT always happen.) And while the anniversary of my birth is technically tomorrow, March 31, I've been known to spread out my birthday festivities for several days whenever possible.


I'm in such a good mood, in fact, that I'm offering a one-day sale to celebrate! You can get 31% off of your entire purchase* through March 31 at midnight MST only! We almost NEVER offer a sale this great, and this particular one is just for one day, and it's just for you Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and blog readers who bothered to hop online on a Friday or Saturday afternoon. We're not publicizing it anywhere else. So congrats if you managed to stumble upon the secret sale this weekend!


To save 31%, simply choose what you want* and then enter the code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout. One coupon per person!


Here are a few things I might think about getting, if I were you, to make the most of the discount:


Don't Say Cheese
Don't Say Cheese! Spring and summer are the BEST times to get great photos of your loved ones, and this book will arm you with the tools, ideas, and games you need to get amazing expressions in your photos.

Price: $9.99
Only $6.89 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!

Take Twelve
Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit: The first quarter of 2012 is over, but you can still start a "take twelve" project now! The kit is full of ideas and adaptations to try.

Price: $20.12
$13.88 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!

Take Twelve Templates
Take Twelve Templates: Make your 2012 Take Twelve Project a breeze with these layered templates for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It just takes a few quick commands to replace the colored boxes in these templates with your own photos. Easy-to-follow instructions included.


Price: $12.12
Only $8.36 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!

List It! Holidays
List It! Holidays Edition: Easter's coming up! There are list-style journaling prompts inside to cover all major holidays throughout the year!


Price:  $9.99 
Only $6.89 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!

Stamping Secrets
Stamping Secrets: 7 stunning stamp sets used 21 different ways, by Ashley Newell, Lea Lawson, Nancy Burke, Nichol Magouirk, Robyn Werlich, Shari Carroll, and Shemaine Smith. Includes 28-page eBook and 4 videos!

Price: $10.99
$7.58 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!

From Paper to Digi
From Paper to Digi: Pretty paper pages—featuring every traditional technique under the sun—inspire Crystal Wilkerson's fabulous digital pages and accompanying digital templates.

Price:  $9.99  
Only $6.89 with discount

Peek inside before you buy!


And if you'll leave me a little old comment to tell me happy birthday, I'll draw ONE lucky winner who'll get a $31 gift certificate to use on absolutely anything! Yeah, I'm shameless that way.


* Excludes Spring Training and gift certificates!

Robyn Schaub's picture

Loving The "Not-So-Perfect" Photo

There's no shortage of photos in my life, but not all of them have an obvious story. So I turned to Scrapbooking the Everyday for a little inspiration. I used Challenge #12: Capture a Loved One's Personality on Paper. As soon as I saw the challenge, I knew I had the perfect photo.

Confession: I didn't always love this photo. My first thought when I saw it was "This shot would've been so perfect if her hair wasn't in her face." And then I set it aside because I had other photos in which her hair wasn't covering her eyes.

But the truth is: this girl's hair is ALWAYS falling in her eyes. I think she likes it that way. We probably own somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 headbands, ponytail holders and hair scrunchies, yet 99% of the time, her hair is falling in her eyes.

That's the real Cecily I know and love. A little wild and untamed, but sparkly sweet all the same. What I learned from this challenge: even the most "imperfect" photos can tell wonderful stories if only we will let them.

This layout also gave me an opportunity to use a new favorite scrapbooking tool: the American Crafts Knockouts Punch System. You can change out the patterns (I used the Simple Scallop to create the strips at the top of the layout) by simply popping them into the base. The punch inserts take up a lot less storage space than having full-size edge punches for every pattern, and there are lots of options available. The hardest part is deciding which one to buy next!

Angie Lucas's picture

NEW Episodes of our Weekly Web Show


This week, we share a fun desktop flip-frame idea inspired by an episode of Heidi Swapp's "Create to Remember" show on! And thanks to the video editing skills of Rick the Camera Guy, you can't tell AT ALL (or can you?) that we had to record the ending (or "outro") about five times, because we kept dissolving into giggles.


As we were wrapping up, I said, "Hope to see you next week for more books and crap...uh, I mean, CRAFTS." Laughter. Tears. Hunched over guffaws. Inability to compose selves. We tried again and again, but one of us would bust up each and every time. We were holding our breath because to breathe meant to laugh. It's like when you get the giggles at church or in a corporate board meeting or, heaven forbid, at a funeral. And the very fact that you should NOT be laughing makes everything funnier.


Okay, we can do this, we'd say. Shake it off. Shake it off. We're PROFESSIONALS. "Okay, Rick, roll it.... And thank you for joining us for today's episode. (Wendy is shaking violently next to me with pent up laughter.) Hope to see you next week for more Books and... BWAHAHAHA!"

Sorry about that, Rick. Thanks for making us look good!


diy pillowcase crafts

If you haven't seen it yet, also check out last week's episode, "DIY Pillowcase Monsters" (aka "Cuddle Creatures")! You'll love it! And we did not laugh inappropriately at ALL in the filming of this one.


And, speaking of monsters/creatures, have a look at what MY resident monster (Jovie the Olde English Bulldogge) did to my favorite purple-polka-dotted pillowcase monster? Naughty Jovie!


Angie Lucas's picture

Book Crafting eBook Coming Soon!

We're gearing up to release our newest eBook in about a week!


Called Book Crafting: Layouts, decor, and more made out of old books,  this 110-page eBook is packed with 30 projects (journals, jars, frames, bookmarks, canvases, and more) created out of old books plus 10 book-inspired layouts.


Click image for larger view


AND there are 76 pages of List It! for Book Lovers printable journaling lists included too, PLUS .png files for all of the lists.


Click image for larger view


A few of the projects have been featured on our Books & Crafts weekly web show, but most are never-before-seen! And all projects include helpful tips, step-by-step instructions, or ideas for making these projects your own.


Here are a few sneak peeks!


Click image for larger view


Click image for larger view


Don't worry, you'll be the first to know when our biggest eBook to date is released! Just make sure you're signed up for our email newsletter. Cheers!


Winners from Last Week!
We promised that today we'd announce the winners from the Doodlebug & Stampin' Up! giveaway last week. And here they are!

Tuesday's winner: Cynthia B, commenter #27


Wednesday's winner: andiedward1908, commenter #63


Thursday's winner: Alice Zinobile, commenter #84

Wendy Smedley's picture

Thank you Thursday

Welcome to Thank You Thursday, a day when you make and give thank you cards to spread good will. All of today's cards are inspired from 31 Thank you cards eBook (shown above). And again the cards are created from Doodlebug Designs create-a-card line. Thanks Doodlebug!

Thank You Butterfly by Robyn
I sometimes struggle with cards because there's such a small space available to work with. I loved card #12 in the eBook that uses a cluster of embellishments to anchor the design. I started with some of the Doodlebug glitter paper and added an embossed die-cut shape that I wrapped with Doodlebug twine and topped with a dimensional embellishment. The "thank you" sentiment sticker in white provides a great contrast on the black background.

Afloat by Ashley
This card was inspired by Heather Nichols Card on pg 12 of the 31 Thank You Cards. The boat and the dad sentiment are what inspired me. I just love this whimsical card that is so true to Doodlebug Design. A fun tip for this card is: Make movement on your card by placing small embellishments such as jewels or brads on the horizontal. That draws the eye across the card and the water moves! :)

Thank you card in black and white by Melissa
This card was inspired by Kristina Werner's card on page 7 of The 31 Thank You Cards Ella Publishing e-book. I love the way she used a mask. I didn't have a mask, so I used a sheet of Doodle Bug Designs thank you sticker and stuck those to my card. A quick spray of mist and I pulled up the stickers. they left a great thank you background for my card.

Two cards by Shemaine

I was inspired by the color combination of black, white and yellow that Kristina used for her thanks card (pg. 22). I love yellow and black together. So for my card I chose to use the same color combo by repeating the sentiment in white Doodlebug Design stickers and added the pop of pink at the end. The 3D flower over the strips of bright pattern paper really pops off the black cardstock.

I was inspired by Kimber mention of how " flowers were a lovely way to let a friend know how much you appreciate all she does for you." and the beautiful felt basket of flowers on the front of her card. (pg. 26) So I chose the Doodlebug bouquet 3D sticker for the focus of my card as well. I love adding color to my cards and these bright colored rhinestones and glitter paper by Doodlebug Designs make it easy to do just that!

Go make and deliver Thank you cards!!

Giveaway: To enter the giveaway leave a comment sharing who you think deserves a thank you note!

Giveaway closes Friday 3/23 at midnight MST

Winners announced Monday 3/26

Learn great card making techniques at the Doodlebug Blog and check out all the awesome stamping ideas at Stampin' Up!

Who should you Thank?

Ways to say Thank You?

Wendy Smedley's picture

Ways to Say Thanks

Welcome to Thank You Thursday week! We're leading up to a day of thanks this Thursday, so visit our blog every day until then for fun cards and giveaways!


Today we are talking about WAYS to say thanks,  and of course sharing thank you cards to get you motivated to make some of your own.


Thanks to Doodelbug Designs has sponsored this week of thank you by providing cards from their Create-a-Card line, to some of our designers and by providing a daily giveaway of card goodies worth $40. Also Stampin' Up! is giving away a sentiment stamp each day. Thanks to both of them!!

Thank You card by Grace Tolman
When asked what is my favorite Thank you sentiment or quote, I refer to the sentiment on this card a lot. I think that we don’t thank people enough. I know for me, it’s hard to just say thank you without any reason behind it. But truly, for the most part, we need to be grateful for people in our lives just for being themselves. I also chose to use a yellow palette for this card as my main color scheme because, for me, that color just brightens anybody’s day. I hope this card will do that for you today.


Thank you Chick by Melissa Gener

Sometimes you have to think outside the box. When I got this chick, that I am sure was designed for cards about spring, Easter or babies, I was initially a little stumped. Then I thought, what if I had this little chick saying something to my recipient? I wanted something cute and fun. What's more fun than a cool chick right? And so the card was made. It's a great sentiment for girlfriends and teenagers. I'm sending it to my little sister, who is the coolest chick I know.


Thank You Hearts by Melissa Gener

Baker's twine in not just for tying up your baked goods anymore. On the card, I used the Doodle Bug Baker's Twine as floss to create my heart shape. I drew a shape in pencil, poked evenly spaced hole, and stitched.


Angie Lucas now shares 5 creative ways to express gratitude!

1. Paper piece or stamp a bra image
Outside sentiment: "Thanks For Your Support"
Inside sentiment: "You always know how to perk me up!"


2. Stamp, cut,  or die-cut a large heart image, with "Thank You" stamped inside the bottom half of the heart image.
Inside sentiment: "Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart"


3. Make a multiple-choice thank-you card. 
Outside sentiment: Thank You For...
Inside, checkboxes:
__Being There
__Not Talking
__Remembering My Birthday
__All of the Above

4. Say thank you for a thank-you card! It would be hilarious. 
Outside sentiment: "THANK YOU for the thank-you card"
Inside sentiment: "It was beautiful." or "I feel very thanked." or "How very thoughtful of you!"

5. If you receive a "THANK YOU for the thank-you card" card, send ANOTHER one back:
Outside sentiment: "NO, thank YOU!"
Inside sentiment: "Thank YOU for the thank-you for the thank-you card!"
Just see how long you can keep it going!


What are some other ways to say Thanks? Help us out by sharing in the comments below, and enter our cool giveaway!


Giveaway: To enter the giveaway leave a comment sharing your favorite thank you sentiment.

Giveaway closes Friday 3/23 at midnight MST

Winners announced Monday 3/26

Learn great card making techniques at the Doodlebug Blog and check out all the awesome stamping ideas at Stampin' Up!

Who should you Thank?

For the ultimate Thank You card resource check out the eBook 31 Thank You cards! It's on sale through the end of the month for only $5.

Wendy Smedley's picture

Who Should You Thank?

Welcome to Thank You Thursday week! We're leading up to a day of thanks this Thursday, so visit our blog every day until then for fun cards and giveaways!


Today we are talking about WHO should get a thank you card, and of course sharing thank you cards to get you motivated to make some of your own. Doodelbug Designs has sponsored this week of thank you by providing cards from their Create-a-Card line, to some of our designers and by providing a daily giveaway of card goodies worth $40. Also Stampin' Up! is giving away a sentiment stamp each day. Thanks to both of them!!


On with the projects

Thank you for brightening My Day by Robyn Schaub
I created this card for the receptionist at my office building who always greets me with a smile and a hello, no matter how many times I walk in and out during the day. She has such a wonderful personality, and I don't think she gets enough recognition for being such a positive first point-of-contact for our company. When I saw the rainbow of colors in the Doodlebug papers, I immediately thought of rays of sunshine, and I knew it would be perfect for this card, which uses a pre-made trifold base from Doodlebug's Create-a-Card line.


Thanks to those special people by Ashley Harris
This card was made for my daughter’s primary teacher at our church. She goes above and beyond the call of duty when teaching my daughter. She is such a great lady and loves butterflies! Baker’s twine has so many fun uses. It helps bring a card together for sure!


Remember your friends by Melissa
This card was a snap to put together, but still have that lovely handmade look. The inside of the reads "... for being my friend." A simple sentiment for a simple card. My best friend loved getting it as much as I loved making it for her. Sometimes just a simple Thank You is best.


Host of major event by Elizabeth Dillow
Each year my husband and I attend a benefit auction on base where we live; all the money raised from auctioning off themed baskets goes to a scholarship fund that benefits local Air Force family members. It's a huge undertaking to plan, organize, and pull it off and this year the woman in charge is brand-new to the event! I thought it would be nice to slip her a thank you card to acknowledge all the hard work she's put in to make the auction a success.

Tip: Cut your first little flag from the sturdy glitter card stock and use it as a template for all the other flags. It's easy to stretch your supplies when you only use a little bit at a time (but a little bit of patterned/glitter paper can still make a big impact!)


So who should get a thank you card? besides the obvious of course

  • librarians
  • school teachers
  • mail carriers
  • receptionist
  • military families
  • public servants

Giveaway: To enter the giveaway leave a comment sharing who you think deserves a thank you note!

Giveaway closes Friday 3/23 at midnight MST

Winners announced Monday 3/26

Learn great card making techniques at the Doodlebug Blog and check out all the awesome stamping ideas at Stampin' Up!

March Take Twelve Roundup

Welcome to the March Monday morning edition of the Take Twelve photography challenge! March is a wild time of year in my house—the weather is completely unpredictable (snow! 75º and sunshine! gale force winds! grilling weather!) and we all have one eye on our NCAA brackets at all times. Add some extra events to our already full calendar and we can easily slip into running-around-like-chickens-with-our-heads-cut-off mode. It was such a good idea to focus on "luck and fortune" for my collection of twelve photos this month, because my camera (as usual) helped me put a wild and crazy life in perspective. My journaling is written on the tiny gift enclosure card that fills up one of my squares—those cards are a great way to include journaling when you have a lot already going on a page!

click on the image to read more about my photos

Take Twelve team member Valerie Bishop pointed her camera at signs of spring everywhere on March 12! Her vibrant, fresh photos and sweet, vintage embellishments make for a page that just screams spring. Spring colors can be a little on the wild side, but she chose a muted color of cardstock to balance it all out. I'm a little jealous of this early spring; we're having an abnormally warm month so far in Wyoming too, but that translates to one inch of tiger lily shoots in my yard... everything else is brown and dead. I am happy to live vicariously through Valerie!

Click on the image to learn more about Valerie's layout

Take Twelve team member Stephanie Medley-Rath created a slice of life page detailing the little moments she experiences in her world of academic work as a sociologist and the world of family work as a mama. Stephanie decided to really focus on herself this month, which is a rare approach in her scrapbooks—but what a worthwhile effort! She opted to use the black-and-white filter on Instagram to take her photos this month, which made coordinating everything easy.

click on the image to learn more about Stephanie's layout

Curious what other members of the Take Twelve team did with their March 12th photos? Check them out here:


Margie Scarpignato

Aliza Deutsch

Angela Gutshall

Lisa Ottosson

Jennie McGarvey

Monica Bradford

Lisa Day

And here are some approaches from the Ella Friends:

Grace Tolman

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald

Audrey Neal

And now for the moment many have you been waiting for... the winner of a $50 gift certificate to Persnickety Prints! provided us with its magic services once again, and lucky #24 was drawn:


which translates into lucky girl Kirsten, aka One Tough Mother. Check out her Lucky 12 page:


Congratulations, Kirsten! Thanks to everyone who participated by linking their photos and layouts! It's not too late to scrapbook your Take Twelve photos, of course... keep plugging away and add your creations to our Take Twelve Flickr group anytime. We'll see you back here on April 12 for another round!

Ella's picture

St Patrick's Day Sale!


Any questions? :)


p.s. If you're ALREADY registered for Spring Training 2012, watch your email for a coupon code for a free eBook, too. As always, those who register earliest get the best deal!


p.p.s. And if you're a returning Spring Training or Boot Camp attendee, you'll get an email this weekend explaining how you can save 20% off of Spring Training 2012 registration PLUS get a free eBook.

kelly vandermolen's picture

Gone Fishing

Can I tell you that I think my (not so secret) ambition is to learn how to be a graphic designer? I don't know that I actually can imagine myself working as a graphic designer but, seriously, the amazing talent I see amongst those who actually are graphic designers makes me sort of swoon. Does that sound weird? I hope not. It does bring me, however to this beautiful ebook.

I really cannot say enough about it and I will begin by saying that I have read this book several times since I download it. I printed this book, friends, and now it is sitting in a place of honour on my desk. There is goodness here. The author is Lisa Dickinson and she covers ten steps to becoming a design genius. I am a long way from 'genius' but I am learning so very much by reading and practicing the principles included in the book. Lisa's first tip is to 'achieve instant unity by using a grid' which is what I did with my layout. Actually, my single page layout is essentially a 'lift' of a double page spread from Lisa's book.

I took the grid directions very literally but there is so much room for experimentation and for pushing the limits of what a grid can look like (a topic covered in chapter 10 of Design Workshop). I used my trusty square punch and made my life very easy but I could have used any shape or even embellishments to create my grid. I will be using this design over and over again!

As a side note, I am absolutely committed to my punches. I am a very low tech scrapper and consequently I do not have a die cutting machine save for my trusty cuttlebug but even if I did, I do not think I could ever put my punches away to be forgotten in the bottom of the drawer. I used a square punch from stampin up ( to make this layout. It has its very own spot on the top of my desk!

Until next time friends, happy punching and happy designing. Enjoy the day.

Angie Lucas's picture

Get Ready to Train!


Yep, that's right. Spring Training 2012 is officially open for registration! It's bodacious, baby. To the max. And it's $5 off through April

So pull out those leg warmers and let's flex those scrapbooking muscles. For 12 days. Just 20 minutes a day. To get you in top scrapbooking condition in time for (inter)National Scrapbooking Day. And to have an absolute blast along the way.


If you've attended Spring Training or Boot Camp before, you can save 20% with code LEGWARMERS. (Must be logged in to your user account for the code to work.) Event alumni always get the best deal!


Watch the totally rad promo video!

Jennifer Wilson's picture

Start Pages Faster with Simple Grids

When I am unsure how to design a scrapbook page, I often rely on simple grids to get started. The repetition of shapes with a grid provides a strong foundation that is easy to build upon, layer by layer.

With this page, I began with a 2x2 grid sized 8 inches by 8 inches (on cardstock) with a patterned paper background. Dividing the canvas with smaller squares can help you break down the design into more manageable portions.

You can then think of each grid box as its own mini canvas as well as part of the whole! (This is the same reason why divided page protectors are so fun and easy!)

In the four quadrants of my page, I used a photo, a repeated stamp design, a spray mist and a piece of patterned paper. Choosing different treatments for each grid box creates visual interest while allowing the focus to remain on the photo.

When you begin with a simple page design, particularly one based on a grid, it frees you to focus on little embellishment details. A grid provides such a strong design element that it becomes difficult to "do it wrong" in terms of adding more layers.

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: October Afternoon; Stamps: Hero Arts, Technique Tuesday, We R Memory Keepers; Embellishments: Authentique, Fancy Pants, October Afternoon; Letter Stickers: American Crafts; Ink: Studio Calico, Tsukineko

In Design Workshop, Lisa Dickinson shares ten of her favorite techniques for foolproof design every time. Learn timeless methods for making pages work, including the power of grids for achieving unity on a page.

Monday! Monday! Monday!

I don't mean to alarm you, but guess what? It's already March 12!! I know. Please forgive us for not warning you about the one small negative side effect of participating in the 2012 Take Twelve photography challenge... this year is going to fly by. Only 287 days until Christmas! Ha ha. 

Just in case you're joining us for the first time today, here's a speedy review of the basics (we're a pretty low-key, fun-loving bunch of photo challengers here at Ella Publishing):

+ Use whatever camera you want!

+ Have fun!

+ Share your photos/layouts with us in the 2012 Take Twelve Challenge Flickr Group!

+ use the hashtag #take 12 on Twitter and Instagram to quickly connect with other participants!

+ Don't forget to check out the March photo list and themed project contained in the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit (and if you don't have it yet, what are you waiting for? Snag it for a 12% discount today!)


We love to spot beautiful additions to the Flickr group, by the way. Like this one, from group member Ellie Augustin:

from Flickr group member Ellie Augustin

And this collage of photos from Flight 714:

from Flickr group member Flight 714

I don't know where you live, Flight 714, but if you've already got flowers blooming I'd sure like to visit.

Finally, check out how Monica Bradford scrapbooked her February photos:

page by Take Twelve Team Member Monica Bradford; click image to read more details

Stunning. Are you inspired? I'm inspired. As an additional enticement to play along with us this month, we've got a super-fantastic prize for one lucky participant! This month's Take Twelve sponsor is Persnickety Prints! Link your Take Twelve efforts on this post before Sunday night at midnight ET and you'll be eligible to receive a $50 gift certificate. $50! To Persnickety Prints! If you aren't familiar with the services Persnickety Prints offers, you're in for a treat. Their know-how, printing methods, value, and reputation for customer service are stellar. May the luck of the Irish be with you.... and see you back here in a week for the March Take Twelve roundup!

Grace Tolman's picture

Inspired by Double Page Design ebook

So you have printed off your favorites from your most recent travel or holiday photos and although you’ve narrowed down the pile from 300 to 10, you still feel like it’s a daunting task to get them on a double page spread. You want your photos to shine against the background but there are a few embellishments you want to add to it to create some pizzazz! Well did you know that the ebook “Double Page Design” can be your lifesaver?

That’s how I felt about the photos I used in this layout and the sketches on the end of the ebook gave me the perfect inspiration to complete this page in no time at all. It also helped me put everything I wanted (photos in prominent spots, embellishments and pattern papers sprinkled all over) cohesively in the page.

So if you are like me and needing some instant inspiration today to put together those pages with 7 or more photos then the Double Page Design ebook is just the answer! You will get design tips from the Write.Click.Scrapbook team on how to create two page spreads that have a cohesive and well designed look. Don’t forget the sketches at the back; I’m sure you’ll use them again and again.

Supplies Used:
Cardstock- (sky blue, pool) WorldWin; Pattern papers and stickers- Year-o-graphy, Simple Stories; Letter Stickers- Boiled blue, Alpha beans, Jillibean Soup; Corner rounder- Creative Memories; Tape- Source Unknown; Bling- BoBunny; Border punch- Scallop, Creative Memories; Black pen- Creative Memories; Adhesives- Glue Arts

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

My Take on the Eight is Enough challenge

Can I let you in on a little secret? I love product. I really love piling the product on my layouts. I’m not sure where the obsession came from, but I somehow came to the conclusion that a great layout MUST have dozens of elements incorporated somehow. Boy, was I wrong!

While spending an evening scrapbooking with my sister, I was stumped on a layout, so I went to my go-to resource for scrapbooking inspiration...ELLA!! I read the fabulous e-book “Eight is Enough” and thought...”uh..really? Only 8 products? I don’t think so”. Good thing I love a challenge! I set to work choosing only 8 products. Want to see what I chose?

  • Four  DOUBLE SIDED patterned papers from Becky Higgins’ Clementine Kit
  • My Silhouette SD Craft Cutter
  • Turquoise Micro Beads (I bought mine at Dollarama, but you can purchase from Michaels)
  • Zots 3D Glue Dots
  • A sheet of Charcoal Bazzil cardstock

Here is the resulting layout:

My sister and I were both so surprised by how quickly this layout came together, and guess what? I love it!!

One fun little technique that my sister shared with me is the fun little flower center. You take one 3D glue dot and stick the flat side to the center of the flower. Pour your micro beads into a shallow dish, then press the glue dot into the beads, pressing gently to cover the entire dot. Voila!  A cute and unique flower center.

My conclusion? Not only is 8 spells FREEDOM! Using fewer products really allows the creativity to flow. It prevented the hours spent wasted just SEARCHING for what to use and allowed me to get right to the fun part...creating! I highly recommend this amazing e-book. I know it will transform how you create!

Angie Lucas's picture

NEW Episodes of our Weekly Web Show

Season two of Books & Crafts, our weekly web show, is underway on MyCraftChannel! We're three episodes in. So if you have a spare half hour this week, these are worth a watch!


Double-Page Design Tips (NEW THIS WEEK!)

This episode shares four favorite tips for creating well-designed, two-page spreads. AND there's a $2 coupon code at the end of the show episode! Watch now.


DIY Library Totes (featuring guest Kari Sweeten)

Guest Kari Sweeten from shares four gorgeous ideas for library totes—one for every member of the family! Easy and ingenious. (And, here's a link to the sewing tutorial mentioned in the episode.)  Watch now.


Book Paper Garlands

Wendy and Angie share favorite tips for creating three different book-paper garlands. You'll LOVE these! Watch now.


Last Day!

Our introductory price of 20 percent off on our new eBook, Stamping Secrets, ends today. Hurry while you can still get it for $8.79!


And last week,, a new online scrapbooking retailer, offered Ella readers a special introductory coupon code, and today's the LAST DAY! Use code ELLAFEB50 at checkout through March 7 to save 50% on anything in the stamps and inks category, and you'll also get FREE SHIPPING on your order (to U.S. addresses). Thanks, ScrapbooksPlus!

Audrey Neal's picture

Scrapping Sports Seasons with Double-Page Design

When my daughters first started playing organized sports, I was so excited to capture these experiences for them. That is, until I was faced with several folders' worth of photos that basically all looked the same. My original intention of creating one layout for each game suddenly seemed overwhelming -- and way too repetitive. Now, after more than 10 years of sports seasons scrapped (including soccer, cross-country, and track), I've found that it's easiest to create a couple of two-page spreads, featuring my best photos, to sum up the season. I also enjoy including the season's stats (wins and losses, race times and finishes) in these layouts.

I was really inspired by Ann Costen's formula for designing a two-page layout in Double-Page Design: "a large photo, a collection of smaller photos, a mirror-image design and one unifying element to pull it all together." This is what I kept in mind while searching for products to help me scrap my youngest daughter's first traveling soccer team experience. I also wanted a design that would let me feature an essay that Cami wrote about making the team.

(credits: Tiffany Tillman, Oh Joy Templates No. 3 and 4; Robyn Meierotto, Let's Go elements, Everyday papers, Cut It Out masks; Agnes Biro, Sewing Kit 1; Audrey Neal, Currently elements; fonts: Pacifico, LeibeErika, Georgia)

Digital templates make creating double-page layouts even easier; that's why templates are one of my go-to scrapbooking tools. They can be modified in multiple ways, so one template can provide you with a variety of looks, allowing you to stretch your design dollars even further.

Angie Lucas's picture

Spring Training Dates Announced!

Mark your calendars, folks, for the second annual Spring Training extravaganza!


We've got amazing instructors lined up, who will be coaching you for two weeks on these topics:






And, there will also be a series of Mini Scrapbooking Fitness tips, live chats with the instructors, prizes, and more!


You might be asking yourself what makes THIS event different from everything else that's out there? Well, we'll tell you. For two weeks you get bite-sized, targeted, manageable drills (just 20 minutes a day) to get you in scrapbooking shape just in time for International Scrapbooking Day on May 5.


It's totally doable for busy schedules. You'll walk away feeling confident and inspired, with lots of practical ideas to implement right away. (And the theme of our banners this year is 1980s aerobics ladies, which you just gotta love. Let's get physical!)


Oh, it's going to be so much fun. Pull out your leg-warmers—more details coming soon.

Ella's picture

Gift idea: Photo Tile Necklace

The Crafting Chicks

This is a blog repost from Kristen of the

So the Scrabble Tile Necklace was the perfect solution to last year’s birthday roundup. All the gifts that are given from my fingertips routinely have something to do with pictures. WHY? Because I’ve been a photographer for ten years now. That means that I have pictures of everyone and their dog (literally), and who doesn’t like a picture of….their DOG, or a candid from their wedding, snapshot of their kid, or a picture of their whole family, on a necklace. Que the Scrabble Tile Necklace….PHOTO style.

For a lovely tutorial on how to glue and protect your necklace (after learning how to personalize below), head over to the wonderful blog Make and Takes.




STEP 1: Open Photoshop (I use CS2), but this can be done on Photoshop Elements as well as the full version of Photoshop.

Go to FILE, then NEW then make a 4×6 canvas by putting 4 in the width box and 6 in the height box.

Make sure your setting is on inches instead of px. The 4×6 will allow you to make images for multiple necklaces.

STEP 2: On the 4×6 canvas make some squares with your shape tool that measure approx. .75″ x .75″. Use the rulers to eyeball it. If your rulers are not showing, go to VIEW and click on RULERS. This will allow you to see how big your shapes are. These squares will be the template for the pictures.

STEP 3: OPEN the photo you are going to use. LEFT CLICK and DRAG that photo over to the 4×6 canvas. At this point you can go to your LAYERS palette. For each of the squares you make you will find that each one is represented in it’s own layer (like a transparency).

STEP 4: Position your photo over the first square making sure your photo is directly over that particular square in the layers pallet. If it’s not directly over that square in the layers palette, LEFT CLICK on the photo layer and move it over the first square.

STEP 5: Then for the MAGIC. This is called a CLIPPING MASK. It’s lovely, wonderful and beautimous. With the photo layer selected (you will know this if the layer is photo layer is highlighted in the layers palette), you push CTRL ALT G (CTRL G on Photoshop Elements). This will magically place your picture into the template. You can now move it around and zoom and crop where you want the photo. It’s magic. At this point, add your frame you can find from any digi site if you search for them. Open this file then place the frame on the picture. For more photos, repeat steps 3-5 on the next square until you’ve filled up your 4×6 and are making a necklace for everyone you know. They will love you for it.

Add some dangles, charms, or leave as is. You will be loved for giving such a personal gift.

Angie Lucas's picture

Stamping Month Winners!

Hi everyone!

We're so excited about the GREAT response we've seen so far to our Stamping Secrets eBook and four included videos. We've heard nothing but fabulous reviews from our readers, and we had SO much fun working with the seven talented contributors.


If you'd like to visit their blogs and just tell them how awesome they are (and keep an eye on their future inspiring work), here's a list!

Nichol Magouirk

Ashley Cannon Newell

Lea Lawson

Nancy Burke

Robyn Werlich

Shari Carroll

Shemaine Smith 




The winners of Monday's amazing stamp giveaway are:

commenter 135 is Jessica S. (Jessica Shelton), who wins all 7 stamp sets from Stamping Secrets!
commenter 222 is "Tokyokie" (Kathy Harrison), who wins the February SMAK kit from Unity Stamps!



The winner of Tuesday's $100 gift certificate to is:

commenter 93 is melt003, who wins $100 to spend at!



And the five winners of yesterday's eBook giveaway are:

commenter 91 is nancylee_c
commenter 97 is tracykaufmann
commenter 98 is sebjusa
commenter 27 is belmont1
commenter 80 is sbmom2


All winners have been emailed for mailing/contact information. If you're a winner and didn't receive an email, let us know by sending an email to


Congrats and thanks everyone for your comments!


Oh, and one more thing! We had the expiration date on that ScrapbooksPlus coupon code incorrect. You can actually save 50% off of anything in the stamps and inks category (with code ELLAFEB50) through MARCH 7th! And you get FREE SHIPPING with the code, too. Thanks to ScrapbooksPlus for helping sponsor Stamping Month!