Jennifer Wilson's picture

Matching Patterned Paper (Day #8)


Coordinating patterned papers can be tricky, but Lisa Dickinson's three techniques make it stress-free. In the past I would match up papers just based on what I thought went well together, if I did that step at all. More often, I would use a coordinating line or a kit, where the matching has been done for me!

For this layout I matched five patterned papers from five different lines using color as my inspiration. I started to gather papers that had a common robin's egg blue, but also found many that shared a similar washed-out yellow as well. I choose embellishments in warm neutral tones as well as some that coordinated with the color scheme of my patterned papers. 

I love the patchwork look of using lots of patterned papers together and enjoy that I now have three specific techniques that can help me combine patterns more effectively. In the selections for this project, I also used Lisa's tip to combine patterns of different styles - from geometric to organic (and everything in between). I find this adds a lot of interest versus using all florals, for example. 

texas by Jennifer S. Wilson. Sketch: Simple Scrapper Premium Membership. Papers: October Afternoon Boarding Pass New York, Basic Grey Wander Embark, Making Memories Panorama Ledger Palm Tree, Studio Calico Roundabout, Cosmo Cricket Odds and Ends Eclectic. Letter Stickers: American Crafts. Embellishments: October Afternoon Farmhouse butterfly and word tag, American Crafts Chap badge, The Girls Paperie clock, Studio Calico sticky note. Paper Tape: Bella Blvd.


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Audrey Neal's picture

Effective Embellishing (Day #7)

When it comes to scrapbooking classes, normally I feel like a giant failure. I always sign up for online classes and other big events like this with the best of intentions. But then -- life happens. I get busy, something comes up, and suddenly I'm behind. 

That's the beauty of Ella Publishing's Spring Training. The videos are short and informative, and the exercises take just ten minutes and can easily be applied to whatever project you have in progress at the moment. 

Today, for example, I sat down with Design Coach Lisa Dickinson's video on Effective Embellishing -- after dropping a load of laundry in the washer and filing a couple of reports for work.  Lisa has assembled a great collection of tips to take the guesswork out of embellishing your scrapbook layouts. (And since your supplies are nice and organized after watching Organization Coach Wendy Smedley's videos over the past few days, you should have no trouble pulling out the perfect embellishments to finish off your layout).

One of Lisa's tips that I use over and over again is #3: Create a Visual Triangle. Not only does this give me a starting point for placing my embellishments on my page, but it also helps me keep the focus of my page in mind -- whether that's the photographs, the journaling, or both. 

My layout features a fairly tight design, with the photograph, journaling and title tucked amid layers of dimensional embellishments and paper memoribilia. With Lisa's advice in mind, I created three clusters of embellishments, each one featuring a round element so that the three points are united in shape to emphasize their connection. In this instance, two of the embellishments are buttons, and the third round shape is an antique pocket watch.

: When you create a visual triangle, make sure at least one element of your three points is similar -- in shape, color, or texture. This will help to unify the three points.

credits: Wesley elements, papers, and word art by The Ardent Sparrow (One Story Down); font: Pea Sara Print (

Embellishing doesn't have to leave you stumped when it comes to effective design. Just follow Lisa's four tips and you'll be creating effective embellishments on your pages with ease!


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

What to Do When the Lights Ain't Bright (Day #6)


Hi everyone—it's Elizabeth, here to put some of the fabulous Erin Cobb's practical tips to work from her "What To Do When the Lights Ain't Bright" Spring Training video!

Wouldn't it be great if we always had bright, shadowless light available to us to capture the goings-on of our daily lives? Like this picture I took this week of my daughter, Bridget—straight out of the camera, on the steps before we got in the car to head to her kindergarten screening. I didn't have to think about lighting at all; just point, click, and done.

Unfortunately for the light meters in our cameras, a whole lot of the stuff of life happens after optimal lighting hours. It would be a shame to just give up on the hours "when the lights ain't bright" just because it's a little trickier to capture them with our cameras. Luckily, there are some easy ways to improve your lowlight photography—Erin explains a number of fixes so clearly you'll see results immediately, without the need for expensive flash equipment (or the time commitment to learning how to use it!). Let me illustrate the difference between photos taken in the same lighting conditions so you can see what an impact Erin's tips make!

One of the regular routines in our house is the post-gymnastics snack. Two of my girls spend twelve hours a week at gymnastics, and by the time they get home they're ravenous (and I've always heard how it's just boys that eat a family out of house and home!) even though they've already had dinner before AND a snack at the gym. I realized that our current schedule has not yet been documented, mostly because by the time they get home it's dark and the Air Force-issue chandelier in our dining room isn't particularly flattering. Plus I'm often running back and forth from the kitchen bringing more food, leaving no time for photos.

Photo 1: I just took a picture based on whatever settings my camera was set on last time I took a picture. It's a little dark, oddly yellow, and you can see a bit of blur in the gobbling of toast. My ISO was inadvertently set high—1200—already.

Photo 2: This time I pushed up the ISO to 1600, steadied myself by anchoring my elbows, and held my breath when I pushed the shutter. My picture is crisper, but more oddly yellow.

Photo 3: White balance adjustment to the rescue! I did all the things from photo 2, but this time took my white balance setting from automatic to tungsten (the one that looks like a light bulb). Fixed!

Another important ritual in my week is my Sunday night TV date with Matt to watch Game of Thrones on HBO (though sometimes, our Sunday night TV date happens mid-week, as it did this week). It's such a relaxing hour for us in an otherwise chaotic, overly busy schedule and I've never scrapbooked it because, well, it's dark up in our makeshift attic family room!

Photo 1:
It looks like I sneezed when I pushed the shutter. I don't think I did, but this picture is a great illlustration of what many of you might see when taking a picture in lowlight without the lowlight workarounds that Erin suggests.

Photo 2: I followed Erin's ISO/white balance/steadying tips, but my photo is a little too bright—the detail of the TV screen is lost.

Photo 3: This time, I actually purposefully underexposed my photo; it seems a little counter-intuitive when taking a photo in such a dark place, but it helps to regain the detail in a bright subject framed by a dark setting. I don't mind that my photo has a dark feel to it because it's pretty true to the atmosphere of our attic at night. It's OK to still have a dark-ish photo if that's what it actually looks like—your goal is simply to get the best dark-ish photo you can get!

I didn't make this cool infographic I printed for my page—it's by Magdalena Maslowska,

Let me add one more tip to working with photos taken in low light: there's a time for enlarging your photos (5 x 7, 8 x 10, even full page size!) and there's a time to stick with good old 4 x 6 (or smaller) prints. The larger you make a photo the more detail (and digital noise) you'll see, so I'd recommend the latter when scrapbooking this type of photo to get the most flattering impact!


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Buy One Get One FREE


Their is a fun LIVE event happening on National Scrapbook Day here in Utah and we have a special ***discount for you.  We have limited spots available, so take advantage of this discount, Good until 5/3/2012. come hang out with Stacy and I and see the INSIDE of the Doodlebug offices.

We've created two LIVE Crop & Shop events later in the day (as a BONUS!)
Each three-hour event will feature 3 rotations, including a lecture-style class with Stacy, a hands-on, create your own 8x8 album with Wendy Smedley and Doodlebug designers and a final hour to enjoy a delicious box lunch, delightfully fun make & takes and a special National Scrapbook Day store chock full of Doodlebug products at special prices.

Details: After you register send your Big Picture Login name and the name of your friend to

***Offer good until midnight PST 5/3/2012, only one deal per customer***


Melissa Shanhun's picture

Three Ways to Use Window Light (Day #5)


Welcome to Spring Training. There are so many great video challenges, and today I'm sharing with you a little of today's challenge!


Our fabulous photography coach Erin Cobb challenged us to experiment with side lighting, flat lighting, and back lighting—sharing lots of tips for how to accomplish each. I'm going to be honest and let you know that I do not have a DSLR, I'm not an expert photographer by any stretch, but even I found today's challenge achievable.


All of these photos are straight out of the camera (no editing except resizing for the web). So hopefully it will give you an idea of what you can try, even without a fancy camera, Lightroom or Photoshop.

Today I'll share with you some of the photos I took using Erin's techniques. I was photographing Emily playing with her playdough, but did try to 'set up' the shots as best you can with an almost three year old!

Side Lighting

I was surprised at how well my side lighting photos turned out. It was pretty easy to use the default mode on my camera.

window light

And I also got my favourite shot of the day:

side lighting

Flat Lighting

Flat lighting seems easiest to me, and I was taking photos in the afternoon we had a fair amount of light coming in our north-west facing window. I love the concentration on her face that I captured, but it was a little blurry.

Back Lighting

I did like the tip about metering for backlighting, and wondered if I could try something similar on my point and shoot. So I hunted around to find the settings so I could try it. Eventually I worked out I was able to set the exposure for Emily's face. I didn't have a reflector (I usually would use my car sunshade as a temporary reflector) and it was a little blurry again, but then again nothing ventured, nothing gained.

back lighting

Emily's hair is so fair that it didn't really come up in the shot, and the whole thing is a little over exposed, but I can always play around in Lightroom later!

I feel like I could have done better, but the sun was starting to set and I'd been playing around for my 15 minutes by now.

back lit photo

So why not grab your camera and have a play today - I'm excited to try these techniques in my general snapshots even with my little point and shoot.

Look what I did!

With a new baby on the way (due May 5) I'm feeling the need to capture some of the special Mum and Emily moments we've been taking for granted over the last three years. I want to enjoy these last few days with just Emily and I at home.

you at two

I chose my favourite photos and paired them with template from Scrapping with Liz and supplies from the member collaboration kits at The Daily Digi.


You are nearly three but insist you are not two and a half, but just two. Two is your favourite number, pink is your favourite colour, Penelope is your best friend, Mischa is your ‘little friend’, Mummy is your best friend in the whole wide world. You love to read, make duplo or block towns, make caterpillars out of playdough. You have no fear in the playground and go down the fireman’s pole all by yourself!

Feeling inspired? Go watch Erin's video, grab your camera and make some time to play today.


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Christa Paustenbaugh's picture

Shooting For Expression (Day #4)

Today is our fourth day of Spring Training and hopefully you are as excited as I am to get started! We're starting off with some ideas and tricks using your camera and photography skills. I've been trying to get my camera out more recently and really practice with it and my sometimes willing subjects too. I had a chance to preview Erin Cobb's video about shooting for expression and I was eager to try out some of the tips and tricks she gave.

One of the challenges for this video is to get genuine expressions from my children without using the phrase "Say Cheese!" Erin gave some great tips and I tried them out immediately with my own two. I love her tip on getting your kids to look into the camera to try to find the movement in the lens. It can produce both serious looks then big smiles after they find what they're looking for too!

Bingo!  That technique definitely worked with my oldest who is almost 10 and onto my camera tricks. Another technique that has proven invaluable is asking them to show me various faces, both serious and funny. They fully cooperated, especially when I asked for a face when their sister is bothering them!

My youngest daughter has no deficit for expression, so I took the series of photos I snapped of her and created a fun layout about all her expressive personality. She has entered the stage that a fake smile is considered a must by her, so I was happy to have all these great faces she makes on a daily basis for us without a camera.

That larger photo is so her!  Full of happiness and excitement that is about to burst out of her body. 

I know you will all love these tips to getting great photos of your kids and really all your family to put on those pages about them.  Enjoy the rest of Spring Training and I'm eager to learn so much more right along with you!


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Grace Tolman's picture

Storage Options (Day #3)


Hello everyone, Grace here to share with you a few things I learned from watching Wendy Smedley’s videos on organization as part of Ella’s Spring Training this year.

I totally believe that we are never “done” learning. There are always new things that we either have forgotten or never really thought about until someone else introduces it to us. Such was the case for me while watching the three-part Organization videos by Wendy.

After watching the very informative videos (and did I mention how cute Wendy was in these videos?), I went straight to work and targeted my flower stash. *Now I need to be honest with you that the following photo only shows “some” of my flower stash. I have a slight obsession with them and I have silk ones too which are still attached to the plastic stems and I’ve decided not to worry about that since they’re organized in their own special way.

Two things that resonated with me through the video especially the third part of the series (where Wendy talks about storage items) is that Organization doesn’t equal to containers and/or containing. When we contain items it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve organized it. What an “aha” moment for me!

I also really liked her comment about waiting to pick containers AFTER you have purged and sorted, because how we are going to “contain” our newly sorted items would depend primarily on how we are going to organize them. Basically don’t buy storage containers for cuteness but more for function, and you cannot know this unless you have purged and sorted your items.


Because I liked the storage idea of “not visible and open” (you’ll learn more about this in Wendy’s 3rd video) I chose glass jars and some old flower containers to put inside my enclosed basket.

I also really like how she mentioned to consider how many steps it will take to get to the products when thinking about storage items. For me, having a basket/container that can contain smaller items in it works best with how I scrapbook. This way I’ve organized them into sizes but when I pick up the whole flower basket/bucket, they’re all visible to me, making it easier to pick up just the right size flower when I need it.

And because these videos were very inspirational to me, I took the exercise to the next level and created a page using the flowers that I just organized.


Retail Experience

Supply list: Cardstock- WorldWin; Pattern papers- American Crafts, Lily Bee Designs, Pink Paislee, Crate Paper, My Mind’s Eye; Ricrac- Making Memories; Flowers- Accent Creative Designs, Petaloo; Letter stickers- My Little Shoebox; Mist- Tattered Angels; Black pen- Creative Memories; Photo Corners- Recollections; Adhesives- Glue Arts


As I was studying my photo, I was inspired by the tiles on the wall behind me in the picture so I used that as a design inspiration for my page, making paper blocks, just like the tiles. Because I just organized my flowers, I had a fresh look at what I had therefore I was able to do some layering of flowers in this page. Having my flowers organized by size, I was able to grab medium, small and tiny flowers fast and efficiently while making this page.



I wanted to use ricrac in this page but I only had white so I used some misting technique to better match my products to my page. (Which, incidentally, is something Nichol Magouirk covers in a similar way in a later Spring Training video!)

So there you have it. I strongly feel that even if you have a bag, shelf or a room full of supplies, we all need to purge and sort every so often. And that organization never equals to storage. Now go get that organizational bug by staying tune to Spring Training and good luck on your journey to better organization!


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Shemaine Smith's picture

Organizing Supplies (Day #2)


Hello there! It’s Ella friend Shemaine Smith here and I’m shaping up during Ella’s Spring Training!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I am feeling already!


My Studio is really small and I wish I could express how quickly it gets cluttered and full of unnecessary product. Because my studio is the dining room in our kitchen, I really do have limited space for my supplies.



My initial storage idea was to store the bulk of my supplies in my daughter’s closet and then only have the most “needed” items stored in my studio. Over time I seemed to bring more and more excess into my studio and now it looks like this.



What a mess, huh? Who could ever find what they needed in this pile of mixed product?  So after watching Wendy’s video Organization Strategies, I chose to work on this area of my studio, which holds a variety of my embellishments and punches. Within about 20 minutes using her tips I was able to sort these 4 baskets into:

  1. Glimmer Mist, mistables and masks.
  2. Maya Road chipboard and embellishments
  3. embossing folders
  4. assorted newly purchased embellies


I threw out scraps of paper, trash and things I just wasn’t using—and I placed all of my chipboard albums and miscellaneous pieces of chipboard and alterables in my master storage bin to keep in my craft closet and sort through later.



I then applied the same system to my We R Memory Keepers product bin also pictured above, which is purple. I have four of these bins that sit on a long shelf in my craft closet that are sorted by manufacturer. The purpose of this organization is to make it easy when I need to create some samples for assignments. I can simply pick up that bin and bring it into my studio to use and when I am done, return the bin to the closet.

So after I was finished applying the same organization tips to the bin, here is the result of my Spring Training session on organization.


Now that I had all my supplies sorted and organized I was ready to create! While organizing I found many supplies I'd forgotten I had that I wanted to use to scrap a photo I love of my daughter that I came across recently.


A Sweet Memory by Shemaine Smith

Supplies: Basic Grey Kissing Booth collection, American Craft Thickers, Spellbinders dies, Glimmer Mist, My Little Shoebox mini alphas, Maya Road pins, Misc: buttons.

I used several of the products I sorted into the four blue bins, as you can see in this close up view of my layout.


Well...I had a great workout today and I'm ready to hit the showers. I know I am going to sleep so well tonight when I lay there thinking of how clean my embellishment space is.


Interested in Spring Training? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Spring Training participants get the chance to win great prizes from 13 crafty companies, including today's spotlighted sponsor:

Missy Gener's picture

Sorting and Purging Tips (Day #1)


Welcome to the first day of Spring Training! I don't know about you, but I am super excited to participate this year. As a 2012 Ella Friend, I got a sneak peek into Wendy Smedley's organization training tips, and I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. She challenges you to select one problem area of your scrapbook space and target it over the course of three days.


You really can make some real organizational progress in just 20-30 minutes each day from now until Wednesday, but if you're really motivated after watching the videos, just keep on going for as much time as you have! Today I would like to talk a little about the first step, sorting and purging. 

MY TIP: Be brutal when you sort and purge. When I went through the process, if I have not touched a tool in over a year, with very few exceptions, it went into the donate pile.

I decided to sort and organize my scrapbooking tools. I have a ton of them, and they are the only part of my room that is in complete disarray, most of the time. I'm also not a huge tool user, but what I have takes up a ton of space in my room. Not very effective, storagewise. By working only ten minutes a day over the last three days, I was able to sort my tools, discover ones that I had forgotten, and clear enough space with my donated pile to free up two whole shelves!

BONUS TIP: Have friends that scrapbook? Organize a swap your stash party. It's a great way to get rid of unwanted supplies and get something new in return.

So what did I do with all my newly organized tools? I broke them out and made a layout, of course! I decided to use as many tools as I could and used my sewing machine, border punches, embossing tools, and an electronic die-cutting machine on this page; not bad for as self-proclaimed tool-o-phobe.


Supplies: Cardstock (Bazzill Basic), Patterned Paper (Pink Paislee, American Crafts, K and Company Smash ), Border Punch (EK Success), Sewing Machine (Singer), Embossing Powder (American Crafts), Stamp (Studio Calico), Ink (Versamark, Staz-On), Die cut (Studio Calico), Font (Calibri), Silhouette Cameo, Alpahbet Sticker (Basic Grey), Label Sticker (Studio Calico), Epoxy Stickers (Cloud Nine Designs), Date Stamp (Office Supply Store), Twine (The Twinery), Ribbon (May Arts)



If you haven't yet signed up for Spring Training, join us today! You'll love Wendy's training video and related downloads. Be sure to share your work there for a chance to win some awesome prizes from our wonderful sponsors!


Here's one example of what you could win: This cool rotary trimmer, plus several packages of Thickers letter stickers, and a great big pack of cardstock in summer colors!


Interested? Learn more about this live event here. Yes, you can still register.

Already registered? Click here to visit the exclusive Craftnasium. (Must be logged in to your Ella user account for the link to work.)

Angie Lucas's picture

Spring Training Startup Party

Spring Training Starts at Midnight Tonight!

The big event is almost underway, folks! The first training exercise goes live at midnight MDT. And we're kicking things off with some fun and giveaways.


In just a few hours, our Craft-letes will flood into our exclusive Craftnasium to enjoy Wendy Smedley's first organization video exercise and to enter to win this darling yellow elephant tote (for registered Craft-letes only)! Check out the complete training schedule to see what we'll be up to for the next two weeks.


And it's not too late for you to join the fun!


Five lucky commenters on this blog post can register for 50% off! That's right. Leave a comment by 1:00 MDT Monday, April 23 (3:00 EST), and we'll pick FIVE winners at random who can dive right into training today for 50% off.


If you're already registered and you're drawn as a winner, you can choose a 50% refund of your Spring Training purchase price OR a $25 gift certificate to use on anything you want on!

Let's get this party started!



With the help of, we've drawn our five random winners! And they are:

comment #6 clmkelly
comment #13
comment #2 arudolph
comment #30
comment #18

Winners, I'll be emailing you individually with your discount code!

Angie Lucas's picture

Warm-Up Week: Sneak Peek #5


Happy Friday!

We're wrapping up Warm-Up Week and gearing up for the big event on Monday. Thanks for joining us this week. See you in the Craftnasium in just a couple of days!


Coach Spotlight
Last but not least, we're going to chat about Scrapbooking Fitness Coach Tami Morrisson.

Tami Morrison is going to rock your world with her six totally tubular motivational videos in Spring Training this year. Tami has worked in many different areas of the scrapbooking industry, from the retail side to the education side, and she's a frequent instructor at Big Picture Classes. Winner of Simple Scrapbooks magazine's Funnest Scrapbooker Ever contest in 2007, Tami injects fun, creativity, and humor into everything she creates. She blogs at


Video Sneak Peek

For this last sneak peek, you're in luck. I'm just posting one of Tami's rad motivational videos in its entirety! She perfectly sums up why participation in events like Spring Training truly can make a difference to your scrapbooking over the long term.

And the outfit you see here is just one of six totally bad (you know it) get-ups Tami wears in her videos, including a Save Ferris t-shirt and a vintage 1984 Olympics shirt that are the bomb! These alone are worth the price of admission. Fer sure.


Sponsor Spotlights
We'd also like to thank our final two sponsors for providing fabulous prize giveaways for our Spring Training participants:, who's offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner, who's offering Photoshop Elements 10 and Photoshop Elements Premier



**Only 3 Days to Go!**

Register Now for $44.99
Just $2.50 per video / mini class

Learn More
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

April Take Twelve Roundup

It's April 19, which means it's Take Twelve roundup day—are you ready? We're 1/3 of the way through the project (hard to believe!) and by this point, there's a good chance you're starting to get a feel for how your pages are coming together. As for me, I'm still keeping more detailed notes on my blog about the photos I take on the 12th of the month; my full-size pages have less detail in the journaling, and I'm perfectly OK with that. I'm also realizing that the busier I am, the happier I am creating a very simple page. I'm enjoying the quick turnaround by giving myself permission not to fuss too much over my page. How are you approaching your photos and layouts?

Read more about my photos on my blog.

Let's move on to the featured Take Twelve team members for April! First up is Angie Gutshall's beautiful nod to springtime. It's full of light, it's whimsical, but it also includes a heartwrenching subject, too—the death of her husband's grandfather. It's a well-known fact that scrapbooking can be therapeutic and an important component in healing; I can attest to this personally as my husband's grandfather passed away on April 12, 2010, the first time I participated in Take Twelve. Just like Angie, I figured out a way to incorporate it and two years later, I am so glad I did. Life is about so many things, and it would be a shame to leave out the hard parts.

Read more about Angela's layout on her blog.

Next, check out Janette Kincaid's spread about signs of spring reaching Canada. She even captured one of my most favorite signs of spring—baseball! (Lucky her, my all-time favorite player—Omar Vizquel—is a Toronto Blue Jay these days, sniff sniff.) Janette let one of Donna Januzzi's sketches from the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit guide her design; a few tweaks to the sketch and it came together seamlessly. Don't forget to refer to those sketches, because they are an amazing resource for your Take Twelve photos—or any page you might make.

Read more about Janette's page on her brand new blog, Kit Bits.

Margie put a spin on the neighborhood photo walk by capturing small details that make her life in China so unique. It can be difficult when your "home" is so far from your home, and as Margie says, sometimes the novelty of the adventure can wear off. "The Take 12 challenge helps me step back and make more of an effort to pay attention to things I take for granted now but will want to remember after we are long gone. Especially because Beijing is changing so rapidly it makes my head spin!" You might not live in China, but the benefit is still there—you can see things differently when you point your camera at them.

Read more about Margie's life in China and her "Small Details Big Differences" page on her blog.

Spring fever struck Monica Bradford this month, too—she captured a glorious collection of subjects and colors, including a tiny little nest with eggs inside! She let the photos speak for themselves on the page; it's OK not to agonize over journaling when the photos say it all! The darling washi banner was a snap to make, and provided a fun spot to include the title.

Read more about Monica's page on her blog.

Want to check out how other Take Twelve members approached their pages this month? Go look—we'll wait!

Aliza Deutsch

Lisa Ottosson

Jennie McGarvey

Van Nguyen

Stephanie Medley-Rath


Finally, we don't want to forget our winner of this month's Take Twelve giveaway! Muvazi Renewal Skin Care generously donated a package of skin care products valued at $149.95 this month; the lucky girl who gets to take it home is entry #14, Jennifer S! She earned that prize, too—check out all the work that went into her collections page:

You can look more closely at Jennifer's page in the Take Twelve Flickr group.

Keep adding those pages and photos to the Take Twelve Flickr group all month long and we'll see you back here on May 12 for round #5 of the Take Twelve photography challenge!

Ella's picture

Warm-Up Week: Sneak Peek #4


Hey There! The fun continues with more Spring Training sneak peeks...


Coach Spotlight
Today, we're going to chat about Techniques Coach Nichol Magouirk.

She's got LOTS of technique fun in store for you! She's got great tips for customizing letter stickers and embellishments, followed by ideas for misting with masks, with a finale of die-cutting plus paper-piecing. And you'll love her gorgeous signature style!


Video Sneak Peek

Techniques Exercises Sneak Peek from Ella Publishing Co. on Vimeo.



About Nichol
Nichol has been scrapbooking, stamping, die-cutting, teaching, and inspiring other crafters for 14 years. A 2003 Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame winner and Scrapbooks Etc. Creative Team member, she is currently teaching classes at several online events: True Scrap 3, Ella Publishing's Spring Training, and A Cut Above with Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner at Online Card Classes. An avid stamper and die cutter, you can also see her die cut work at and new stamped projects on the 10th of every month featuring Ali Edwards' Studio AE stamps as part of the Technique Tuesday Studio AE Design Team Blog Hop. She blogs at


Today's Poll
What technique-related questions do you have for Nichol? Include them in the comments below for your best chance and getting your question answered during our scheduled live chat (for Spring Training participants only). You can also ask questions live during the chat, and we'll get to as many as we can.


Sponsor Spotlights
A big thanks to three more of our prize giveaway sponsors: is offering a gift card for one lucky winner to select the prizes of her choosing.
Becky Higgins' Project Life is offering Cobalt binder, Core Kit, Cardstock, and Variety/Photo Pages.
Persnickety Prints has an awesome prize up for grabs!


Did You Know?
|We've recruited our 12 amazing Ella Friends to post their Spring-Training inspired projects here on the Daily Trumpet every day that Spring Training is going on! So, besides the daily video, exercise, and bonus download, there will also be a dose of extra inspiration every day on our blog.


**Only 4 Days to Go!**

Register Now for $44.99
Just $2.50 per video / mini class

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Ella's picture

Warm-Up Week: Sneak Peek #3


Happy Wednesday! Yep, you guessed it, we have yet more Spring Training sneak peeks to share.


Coach Spotlight
Today, we're going to chat about Design Coach Lisa Dickinson.

Lisa Dickinson is a professional graphic designer and one of the most highly rated Drill Instructors from our Boot Camp event in the fall. She's put together three truly fantastic videos for Spring Training that will inspire you to Embellish Effectively, Match Patterned Papers with confidence, and Create Cards Inspired by Layout Designs. This is information you won't want to miss! You can also keep up with Lisa on her blog, Gettin' By.


Video Sneak Peek

Today's Poll
What design questions do you have for Lisa? Include them in the comments below for your best chance and getting your question answered during our scheduled live chat (for Spring Training participants only). You can also ask questions live during the chat.


Sponsor Spotlights
A big thanks to three MORE generous prize sponsors:, StudioCalico, and Lawn Fawn all have giveaway packages in the works, available to lucky random winners who are good Craft-letes and complete their daily exercises. :)


Did You Know?
New this year, we have LIVE CHATS scheduled with each of the coaches. You can send us questions in advice, listen or chat with our coach live, and also access the chat later (if you can't make it at the scheduled time). You'll find info about the days and times of the chats in exclusive Craft-nasium!


**Only 5 Days to Go!**

Register Now for $44.99
Just $2.50 per video / mini class

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Ella's picture

Warm-Up Week: Sneak Peek #2


Happy Tuesday! Today we have more fun sneak peeks to share.


Coach Spotlight
Today, we're going to chat about Photography Coach Erin Cobb.

Erin has great things in store for you, from Shooting for Expression, to Three Ways to Use Window Light, to What to do When the Lights Ain't Bright! And her tips are appropriate whether you shoot in Auto Mode or have the skills to shoot in Manual Mode.


Video Sneak Peek


About Erin
Erin has been a mama for six years, a blogger for five, and professional photographer for four. She hopes to be all of those things for at least another 50. She’s passionate about her family, her friends, bright colors and shooting jpeg (what?!). Erin is also the creative force behind the highly acclaimed Clean Color video editing tutorial. Those are the things that feed her soul but Erin says writing about them feels like the dessert. Erin makes her home and runs her business in Huntsville, Alabama.

Today's Poll

What photography questions do you have for Erin? In what areas do you need the most help?

Include your questions in the comments below for your best chance and getting your question answered during our scheduled live chat (for Spring Training participants only). You can also ask questions live during the chat, and we'll get to as many as we can.

Sponsor Spotlights

We'd also like to thank two MORE of our sponsors for providing amazing prizes for our Spring Training participants:

Jo Totes, who's offering a sensational camera bag of the winner's choice to one lucky winner
Stampin' Up!, who's offering the following: Simply Scored Tool, Simply Scored Plate, In Color Card Stock, Classic Pad In Color


Did You Know?
Thanks to a new video hosting service, our 18 videos won't expire when Spring Training is over! So if you can't keep up during the live event, no worries. You can pop back in and catch up or rewatch the content whenever you want. Cool? Cool!


**Only 6 Days to Go!**

Register Now for $44.99
Just $2.50 per video / mini class

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Angie Lucas's picture

Warm-Up Week: Sneak Peek #1


Hi Friends!

Today, we're excited to share our first Sneak Peek of the fun that awaits you in Spring Training, which starts ONE WEEK from today! We've got Warm-Up Week fun happening all week long, so make sure to pop back in daily!


Coach Spotlight
Today, we're going to chat about Organization Coach Wendy Smedley.

In her three organization exercises, Wendy will share a foolproof organization process that builds from one day to the next, sharing secrets for how and why to purge unneeded supplies, tips for sorting and organizing what remains, and insight into different storage types. These universal organization principles will help you tackle your scrapbook room, one category at a time, but you can also apply them to any room in your house!


A bit of trivia for you: Wendy is the co-author (with Aby Garvey, owner of of The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker, which is in its second printing. While it was out of print, used copies were available on for as high as $200!


Video Sneak Peek

Organization Exercises Sneak Peek from Ella Publishing Co. on Vimeo.


Today's Poll
What organization questions do you have for Wendy? Include them in the comments below for your best chance and getting your question answered during our scheduled live chat (for Spring Training participants only). You can also ask questions live during the chat.


Sponsor Spotlights
A big thanks to two of our prize sponsors:

American Crafts, who's offering a trimmer, replacement blades, a big summer-themed cardstock pack, and Thickers!
Whisker Graphics, who's offering a $60 store card so you can shop for gorgeous, crafty goodies!


Did You Know?
Inside our exclusive Craftnasium, we've just posted a new giveaway opportunity during Warm-Up Week just for registered Craft-letes. Once you register, just go to for your chance to enter to win! (Note: must be already registered and logged in to your user account for the link to work.) Winner will be drawn and announced on our around April 23.


**Only 7 Days to Go!**

Register Now for $44.99
Just $2.50 per video / mini class

Learn More
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

It's Time to Take Twelve!

Happy April, everyone! Believe it or not we're almost 1/3 of the way through with the Take Twelve photography challenge. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done—that's 36 moments captured with another 12 on the way! Whether you focused on a theme like Take Twelve Flickr group member Danielle Hunter did last month...

...or took the opportunity to freeze time through photos and journaling like group member Joscelyne Cutchens did...

...there's one thing you should know: there is no right or wrong way to participate. The important thing is to keep at it. Even if you forget to take your photos until the end of the day (the sun'll come out... tomorrow!) or your photos maddeningly disappear from your memory card, find a way. And then scrapbook it.

If you're following along with the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit (on sale today at a 12% discount) you'll find the special theme project is all about the technology in your life. If you've never scrapbooked about technology, consider this: the majority of what you use during the course of an ordinary day didn't exist in 1912. Can you imagine how quaint we'll seem to our descendants 100 years from now?

No matter what you see through your lens today, be sure to blog and/or scrapbook it this week and come back here to link us to your photos/layout for a chance to receive this month's Take Twelve giveaway! We have something a little different on hand:

A Muvazi Renewal Skin Care Set (retail price $149.95), which includes 5.5 oz Foaming Cleanser Toner, 15 mL Oxygenic Eye Cream, 50 mL Intra-Cellular Moisturizer, and 1 oz Hydrating Face Serum. And a reminder that with code PAMPERYOURSELF, you can save $80 off the retail price and get this skin-care set for $69.95. Want to learn more? Check out reviews from Angie Lucas, Ashley Harris, and Audrey Neal over at The Daily Trumpet. I'll be back in a week to announce the lucky recipient! 


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Angie Lucas's picture

It's Time to Pamper (and Scrapbook) Yourself!

Let's talk about YOU. Do you get so wrapped up in taking care of everyone (and everything) around you, that you forget to take care of yourself? Well, you're not alone. As women, we have so many demands on our time that it can be difficult to find the time to exercise, eat right, take care of our skin and bodies, find time for rejuvenation and inspiration, and participate in other activities that feed the body and soul.


So today, Wednesday, April 11, I want to encourage you to be a little bit self-indulgent, maybe even selfish, just for a little while. Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Shop for yourself. Scrapbook about yourself! You deserve it just this once.


In that spirit, I invited two of our Ella Friends, Ashley and Audrey, to join me in creating autobiographical scrapbook pages. We're all busy ladies, for sure, but we carved out a bit of time for these reflective pages—and it was worth the effort! It really is important to spend some of your crafting time scrapbooking just about yourself, to be the star of your own life story.


Here are three different approaches for scrapbooking about yourself.

1. My Layout

Click image for larger view

Tip: Scrapbooking about yourself doesn't have to mean you're alone in the photos, just that you're pictured on the page. And actually, it's essential that you are taking photos of yourself with your kids on a fairly regular basis. You'll treasure these photos as your kids grow up. If you don't have one shot where both subjects look their best (or are even looking at the camera), print several images film-strip style! This series shows my daughter Keira opening a little Easter present.

Note: Now I know some women hate having their picture taken, because they feel self-conscious about so many things, such as not being as young and thin as they once were. But I'm going to tell you something: you look better than you think you do. And I hate to break it to you, but whatever age you are, you're not getting any younger. This is the youngest you will ever be! Which means you better hurry and get your picture taken before you get any older! I promise that 10 years from now, when you look back at today's photos, you'll be surprised at how great you actually looked, and you'll be grateful you allowed yourself to be captured on camera.


Ashley's Layout

Ashley's journaling reads:  Me- I am never the one in front of the camera. I know there are reasons for this. Well, those reasons are going to change and so am I. Slowly but surely I will beat my inner struggles and be in front of the camera more. Like today.


Audrey's Layout

Click image for larger view.


Audrey's journaling starts with: "There was a time when I just refused to step in front of the camera; I was always so critical of what I saw when I looked at myself later." And it ends like this: "I am growing into this skin I'm in and realizing that this is who I am, and who I am is loved beyond compare." Beautiful!

You matter. You really do. And we hope these layouts inspired you to turn the spotlight on yourself.


And now it's time to reveal our little secret. One of the things that gave us confidence to mug for the camera for these pages is that all three of us have been trying out a skin care line called Muvazi. And you can try it, too, for $80 off if you'll keep reading! Note: we did not get compensated for saying these nice things about Muvazi, apart from the trial products three of our team members received. We were simply excited to share a great deal with you plus a little reminder that it's okay to pamper yourself every now and then.

Here are a few things we loved about it:

Angie: "For years, I was using products designed for oily skin (but my skin is actually dry), which only made breakouts worse. One thing I loved about the Muvazi line is that my face feels supple and super hydrated every night for bed."

Ashley: "I have been battling impetigo for nearly a year and nothing would get rid of it. This has kept it at bay for almost a month now. I love this stuff!!"

Audrey: "I'm usually a wash and wear kind of girl, so I like that the Muvazi products are simple to use and don't add much time to my daily routine. The cleanser and toner combination means one less step, and the pump bottles mean less mess."

Angie: "I love the Hydrating Fae Serum that you put on after the cleanser. It's so light and smells so lovely."
Audrey: "One of my biggest problem areas is the crease between my eyebrows. It's partly caused by genetics (my dad had the same wrinkle), and partly caused by a tendency to frown, especially while I'm reading (and I read a lot), regardless of my actual mood. The face serum has smoothed that area out, so that the crease is less evident."

It's amazing how just spending a couple of weeks pampering yourself a little bit—whether that's through taking better care of your skin or getting a pedicure or picking out a new Spring outfit—can lift your overall outlook. Try it! And then take a picture of yourself and make a page. We dare you.


If you'd like to try the Muvazi line yourself, we have a KILLER deal for you. Use the code PAMPERYOURSELF to save $80 off the kit (includes cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream) AND get free shipping. It's priced at $149 and you get it for just $69. No kidding! And there's a 30-day money-back guarantee, too, so if it doesn't work for you, there's no risk. And come back tomorrow for your chance to win the kit for FREE!

Wendy Smedley's picture

Play Time!!

In this episode of Books and Crafts it is all about playing. Thanks to Vicki Boutin and her awesome new book Angie had fun playing and she shares what she learned and made on today's episode of Books and Crafts at My Craft Channel.

We love Vicki and know you will too. Check out her book and don't miss her blog. She is genuine and bubbly with a strong desire to help us all get in touch with our inner artist.  Thanks Vicki!!

Wendy Smedley's picture

Spring Fling Giveaway: by Big Picture Classes

April is such a happy month!! Many thanks to Big Picture Classes for sharing these awesome giveaways. To make it easy to enter and even easier to track we are trying out a giveaway tracker, raffelcopter, It is super easy and allows you to enter more than once, no need to come back and leave multiple comments either.

Giveaway information below!

1. Design Challenges is a 4-week workshop with Elizabeth Dillow and Stacy Julian

Fitting scrapbooking into a busy schedule can be tricky; even more so if you’re feeling a little stale, bored, or generally uninspired! Scrapbooking is about the photos and the words that make up your memories, of course, but if you lose sight of the value of the process, our beloved hobby can feel a little like a chore—and scrapbooking should never feel like a chore. If your creative process is feeling a little anemic or you simply want the accountability of a challenge to reset your creative focus, you need Design Challenges!

2. Join Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters in this self-paced class, Picture Color.

Through this 30-day photo centric celebration, Picture Color will encourage you to turn your lens toward the colors that delight you most. With daily email prompts delivered right to your inbox, you will be greeted and inspired by a myriad of colorful shades to awaken your senses and your inner-artist as your camera clicks color after vibrant color!

3. Have fun using your stash and making pages with Nic Howard and May Flaum in Double Take, a 4-week workshop.

Are you looking for a class to help you use your stash while embarking on a journey of creative fun? Do you want to put a dent in your pile of photos whilst learning through sketches and example layouts how to create visually effective layouts? Double page scrapbook layouts are a great way to create a more cohesive looking album, include more photos and stories in your layouts and still have plenty of room left over for creative fun! What could be better than getting a whole class packed with two-page layouts? We're doubling the fun with not just one, but two of our fabulous teachers, and they are teaming up for a BPC class like never before!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa Shanhun's picture

Happy scrapbookers focus on the everlasting

I am a happy scrapbooker. I am a person who creates for the love of it, free to create and free to love what I've created, whether or not it has the latest products, techniques or story telling motifs.


I was drawn to Stacy Julian and Lain Ehmann's eBook, 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers and knew that there would be some gems hidden inside these covers!


Inside Lain and Stacy share how scientific research into happiness has shown that practices such as paying attention, appreciating what you have, and being present in the moment make us happier. I love the idea putting practices into my life to build my happiness, and I've even joined in on a Scrap Happy blog series to help reinforce the ideas I've learnt through this and other happiness related books.


{ discovery no.7 } Don’t confuse stuff with success really stood out to me. Things can't make you as happy as good relationships with your family and friends.

So I took a break from my latest 'big project' to spend an hour creating a layout that documented a special relationship I've seen growing in the last 2.5yrs. The father-daughter bond of our little Emily and my husband Phill.

I just used whatever supplies I had on hand that were pink and green, and didn't turn my nose up at reusing my favourite colour scheme and digital goodies from Flergs and a template from Jenn Lindsay.

The result was a meaningful and fun page, using photos of Phill and Emily that I love.

Journaling: Emily I love that you and Daddy have so much fun together. Helping around the house, playing with Little People (who always need to see Dr Duck with their sore throats and sore eyes). Swimming, colouring, drawing on the chalkboard, playing outside, gardening, watching the occasional episode of Anamaniacs (I feel feathery, oh so feathery) and of course shopping at Bunnings. I love that you two love spending time together! 
I took a few minutes (while Emily played with her blocks and fed me a few imaginary lollipops) to document this relationship, something in my life that brings me greater joy than the transitory infatuation with the latest handbag, cute dress or even my new Silhouette Cameo could ever hope to bring.
Go and find out 19 other ways you can bring some more happiness into your pages (and life)!
Angie Lucas's picture

Last Chance to Get Best Spring Training Deal!

Check out this short video for details about how you can save $10 on Spring Training and get an eBook for $.98! (Just put Spring Training and any eBook costing $5.99 or more in your cart and use code FIVEDOLLARS at checkout.) Today is the last day to get the best deal, since the pre-registration price ends today!


Still thinking about it? You can use the code FIVEDOLLARS to get $5 off of any $45 purchase even after Spring Training goes up to its regular price. Code expires April 16.


Register at


And the winner from our secret birthday weekend sale is: commenter #6, AUBREED. Congrats!