Liz Oram's picture

Mini albums make the perfect gift

Have you ever found yourself wandering the aisles of your favorite store and wondering what would make the perfect gift for that upcoming birthday, holiday, wedding, birth, or anniversary? Unfortunately for me (or should I say luckily for my wallet's sake) I don't really have that opportunity! I live in a tiny town in Wyoming which only has a grocery store and a couple hardware stores. Needless to say, that has posed quite the challenge for me with shopping for that perfect gift!

I have had to resort to Internet shopping or having my mom buy it and attach my name to it (THANKS MOM!). Overall, I haven't really been feeling like I have been putting my heart into the gifts I have been giving. So when my beautiful new niece was born I decided to go shopping in my own home (and no I am not talking about re-gifting).

What I found jump-started my creativity and made me feel as if the gift I was giving was genuinely coming from the heart; something that she and her parents could cherish for a long time to come. A handmade mini-album was my perfect solution! Check out all my fun pages below. (Photos to be added when baby arrives.)



Steps:
First, I found a completely gender-neutral paper pad and dug in my scraps for something to 'girl it up'.

Next, I looked through my albums (I keep a few on hand-I buy them on sales for just in case moments such as this) and found one I could incorporate with the colors of the paper pad.

Third, I pulled all embellishments that would help me tie it all together, including: buttons, ribbon, stickers, rub-ons, flowers, and some bling (because every girl needs a little even if they are only a few days old!). I don't always use all of these, but I like to have them on hand to keep the creativity flowing.



Fourth, I chose a layout scheme that I could follow in a pattern, but could be moved from one side to the next or switched from top to bottom to make it look a little different. (It is best to stick with the basics here if you want to keep your project moving quickly.)

Lastly, I started cutting out paper, organizing my pages, and putting it all together. (I like to put my cardstock sheets in each page section to organize my color pattern and establish what accent paper I will use.)

Supplies:

patterned paper (SEI paper pack/stash/Making Memories/Heidi Grace) + cardstock(from stash and paper packs) +
bling embellishments bling (unknown) +  brads (Making Memories) ribbon, buttons (stash) + stickers and rub-ons (Making Memories) animals cut out from paper pack



Tips:
  • Even if you don't have photos you can leave places for them or make a scrapbook out of quotes/letter/drawings (grandparents love these!).
  • When you don't have photos and you are giving it to someone who does not scrapbook it is best to keep the pages simple and the photo placement obvious so they will know how to use it with no confusion.
  • Keep the ideas simple and layer where you can to add visual interest. I feel that chalking or inking with crumpled/torn layers creates awesome levels for the eye to look at without adding much bulk.

  • If you are working with scraps and odds and ends don't be afraid to make your own embellishments as I did, especially if your budget is tight-you don't have to sacrifice style! You can always add glitter, bling, or glossy accents to make them stand out, and put them on a pop-dot to really make an impact.

  • Don't be afraid to try new things, if you hate it you can always make a new page.
  • You can mix your styles up, but keeping the design simple and consistent will help the process faster.
  • If you want it to be easy try going with pre-coordinated items or kits.
  • Gift albums or mini-albums are a great way to use up your extras, and are easy to throw into a Ziploc for travel scrapping!
  • Remember, mini-albums are just that, a smaller album! You can do any theme or size in a mini-album, they were created to play with and have fun on a smaller scale! They can also be a great way to introduce someone into scrapbooking!

    I hope you all take time to make a mini-album, even if you don't give it away! They make some of the cutest decorations and are great for the wee ones little hands!
    Happy scrapping!

    ~Liz
    (To hear more from me, visit my personal blog or my photography blog!)

    (PS) If you make a mini-album, we'd love to see it! Send it to us at ella with mini-album in the subject line. I handle the submissions around here and I would LOVE to be inspired by your work!!
    Ella's picture

    Calling All Dad Layouts!

    Would you like to see YOUR layout in a Father's Day article in the June issue of Scrapbook Ellaments? To enter, email a scan or a photograph of your layout to submissions@ellapublishing.com with "Father's Day" in the subject line. In the body of your email, please include explanatory information about your layout: why you created it; whom it's about (your husband, your dad, etc.); and any interesting tips, tricks, or tidbits you'd like to share.


    A layout by April's Scrapbook Ellaments cover designer, Stephanie Howell.

    Please include a complete materials list, formatted like this: patterned paper (American Crafts) + letter stickers (BoBunny) + buttons (BasicGrey) + Tahoma font + 12 x 12 layout by Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (shiloh.blogspot.com) If you'd like us to link to your blog or website, make sure you include that in your materials list. Chosen designers will win a free Ella eBook!

    Note: Layouts will be chosen partly based on the quality of the submitted photo or scan. Please click here and scroll down to "Tips for Photographing Your Layout" to make sure your submission meets our quality standards for online publication. We can't acknowledge every submission we receive, as much as we'd like to.

    Angie Lucas's picture

    May Scrapbook Ellaments Behind the Scenes

    Just a few behind-the-scenes facts about our newest (and best?) eZine issue!



    1. The winner of our cover contest was the lovely Keri Babbitt, who, we found out, happens to live just in the next city over from me! That was a first. She was able to drop off the layout right on my front porch, rather than having to mail it.

    2. When we realized the eZine was going to go live on Cinco de Mayo (5-5-10), we just HAD to include a 5-related article. Hence, the Editor's Note. Incidentally 5 +5 =10. Not that it's relevant, but interesting to point out. How many dates are also addition problems?

    3. In Mix & Match, two of the pattern pictures were photographed and sent in just exactly as you see them, and two were assembled digitally by me. (I learned some fun new shadow tricks in Photoshop in the process!) Can you guess which have natural shadows, and which have digital shadows? Okay, I'll give you one hint. Here's how one of the images came in:

    4. I got a real kick out of this suspicious-looking puppy photo from Jody Wenke (in Paper Plus Pixels). Isn't that the most human expression you've ever seen on a dog? This pooch is thinking, "I don't know about you..."



    5. Did you know there are now TWO ways to find out that the new eZine is live and ready to read? You can sign up for our mailing list, or you can "like" our brand new FaceBook page, where we'll post short synopses of each new article every month! You better do both, just to be safe.


    We're moving to a PAGE instead of a GROUP, because it gives us so many more options for connecting with our readers in relevant, meaningful, and of course FUN ways. And we'll even bribe you with giveaways and free stuff, too; we're not above bribery.

    So...will you Like us? Please? We just want to be Liked. Like Sally Field, we just want to be able to say, "You LIKE me. You really LIKE me!!!"

    (p.s. We're not so sure we approve of the new "Like" button that replaced the old "Become a Fan" on FaceBook. If you don't Become a Fan, that doesn't feel personal, but not Liking someone, that's another story...)
    Ella's picture

    Product play: Design House Digital part 2

    This is the second part of our pairing up with  Design House Digital. They are a great resource for any range of experienced digital scrapbookers.

    Design House Digital is a site dedicated to learning, creating, and sharing. This site is for all who want to preserve their memories and stories in meaningful ways. There are no pre-conceived notions of who you have to be or what your memories have to look like. Digital scrapbooking is more than just scrapbooking on a computer, it’s telling stories in any style you want those stories to be told. There are no boundaries here, only possibilities!

    Ella friend, Jodie McNally made some projects using products from DHD. Hard to pick a favorite, I like them all.



    credits: frame (label frames by audrey neal) + glitter (glitter drops by mary ann wise) + ink blots (daisy jane ink blots by carina gardner) +  paper (textured stock paper by audrey neal) + swirly corners (happier by deena rutter) + font (pea chelsea k script)
     


    credits: papers - textured cardstock by audrey neal at dhd; glitter alpha - glitz rainbow 2 by vicki stegall at oscraps.com; white alpha - signature alpha 2 by taylormade at oscraps.com; glitter - glitter drops by mary ann wise at dhd;font - pea heather's handwriting from kevinandamanda.com
    Wendy Smedley's picture

    Text Tricks for scrapbookers: Titles

    Today's post is all about titles; crafting nifty and easy titles. A title is a must on a scrapbook page, and to work it needs to complement the layout, not overwhelm it. This can sometimes be a bit  tricky. View a few of the layouts with effective titles and let your brain incubate your own tricky title ideas.

    Here are a few of my favorite layouts (all with cool title tricks) that I've seen from Text Tricks eBook co-author Sara Winnick:

    Follow the shape of objects on your layout. Easy enough!


    Here's a clean and appealing idea. Combine two fonts for your title! Cursive + Serif = Brilliant


    Get your letters moving to add energy to the title. And using all lowercase letters gives it a playful and friendly feel.


    Now, here are three title looks from Jody Wenke, which are all playful and provide support to the page's theme:

    This is another combination of two fonts, which is adorable. That misplaced letter is catchy and cute, and it contradicts the word "seriously," just as Jody intended.


    Using objects as letters is not always easy to do, but it is sure adorable when it works out! Keep an eye out for letter forms in the accents in your stash. (An "o" shape is super easy to find, but an "e"? That's quite an accomplishment!)


    See? You can use just about anything that has a roundish shape in place of an "o"!

    Now it's my turn! These ladies inspired me to get tricky with one of my titles.

    I used an idea featured in the Ella text tricks freebie download. Check it out!
    note: I repurposed this journaling from blog post onto a scrapbook page, which is a great way to capture your best blog ramblings.



    For more text and title ideas, check out our affordable $4.99 eBook (by Margaret Scarbrough and Sara Winnick), or check out Ella's Text Trick freebie download, which has tons of fun and crazy ideas for titles.
    Ella's picture

    TV Challenges: Done!

    Thanks to Katie for such a fun challenge. Really unique content ideas and some good tips were shared throughout this seven week challenge. The layouts created were unique, just like the challenges were. Giveaways shared below.

    Weekly eBook awarded to:

    Week 1 Smbradford

    Week 2 Goldnuggt

    Week 3  ToodyMouse

    Week 4 Smbradford

    Week 5 goldnuggt

    Week 6 Scrapperann

    Week 7 Millerkimberlyann

    Thanks one and all!!
    and now...
    the grand giveaway goes to
    Agata Dag

    Next time you are planning scrapbook pages consider the list and sketches below.

    TV Topics

    * Follow Katie's lead and scrapbook directly about a favorite TV show.
    * Compare your current family or the family you grew up in to a famous TV family (the Huxtables, the Bradys, the Bundys)
    * Create a page showcasing the movies you loved as a kid, compared with the movies your kids love most
    * Create a page listing the movies you've watched over and over again (Dirty Dancing? Pride & Prejudice? UP?)
    * Document a chronological list of your favorite shows from different eras of your life (from The Andy Griffith Show to The Office)
    * Scrapbook about a recent night out to the movies. Who went, what did you see, what snacks did you buy, what did the total bill come to?

    Seven sketches that Ella friend Barb Wong made based on Katie's layouts















    Until we start up another challenge...
    Ella's picture

    Enjoy National Scrapbook Day

    Hope all you awesome Ella readers have exciting plans for this holiday. We are recommending you stop by and visit some of our friends in the industry and check out what they are doing.

    Make sure and check out these awesome National Scrapbook day happenings.

    Creating Keepsakes magazine

    NSD_2D00_Blinkie_2D00_600_2D00_green-copy

    Studio Calico

    NSD

    jessicasprague.com


    Big Picture Scrapbooking

    Scrapbook.com

    2Peas.com

    Designer Digitals

    AND, to help inspire you as you attend an online or in-person event for National Scrapbook Day, Ella is offering you a special deal this weekend only. Buy two eBooks (a minimum purchase of $10.98), and get a third eBook (up to $5.99 value) for FREE! Place all three of your chosen eBooks in your cart, and use the code MAYFIRST at checkout to redeem. Offer expires May 2 at midnight PST, so hurry! Shop now.

    Be back later today with the TV challenge grand prize winner!
    Ella's picture

    Product play: Design House Digital part 1


    Today we have paired up with a digital scrapbooking company, Design House Digital, to inform you and get you all excited about everything that digital has to offer.

    Design House Digital is a site dedicated to learning, creating, and sharing. This site is for all who want to preserve their memories and stories in meaningful ways. There are no pre-conceived notions of who you have to be or what your memories have to look like. Digital scrapbooking is more than just scrapbooking on a computer, it’s telling stories in any style you want those stories to be told. There are no boundaries here, only possibilities!

    Ella friend, Noel Culbertson created three projects. Aren't they adorable?!



    This layout used the  Authentic Kit.


    Noel couldn't resist the name and style of the Daisy Jane Kits, which have a fun retro flair.



    And for her last layout, she used the Vanity Fair Kit, and she's thrilled with the results.


    Noel's take on the site, "I found the selection of papers at Design House Digital to be fantastically varied, with loads that fit 'my style.' The site was easy to navigate, with a classy layout. I did wish that there were a few more embellishment options for each kit...hopefully there will be in the future! Additional options aside, I enjoyed playing with the wonderful designs from the seriously talented designers."

    For some useful digital information worth your time check these out
    digi terms
    how to download a digital kit
    creating a digi layout
    freebies

    Come back next Wednesday for more from Design House Digital!
    Wendy Smedley's picture

    Schedule time for fun

    { discovery no.18 } don’t forget to have fun

    “Regularly having fun is one of the five central factors in leading a satisfied life. Individuals who spend time just having fun are 20 percent more likely to feel happy on a daily basis and 36 percent more likely to feel comfortable with their age and stage in life.”



    This layout is based (and the text above is from) on secret #18 from the eBook, 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers. It seems easy enough, have fun, but for some of us task driven women this can be a challenge. I know it is for me. So how do we have fun? If this question is hard to answer for yourself, then you, like me, need to figure it out and make time for it!

    a few things I do for fun
    • listen to favorite podcasts like the Moth and Wiretap
    • visit with friends at the neighborhood pool
    • visit my favorite funny blogs
    • play games with the kids
    • camp and enjoy nature
    • complete decorating projects
    • scrapbook, of course
    • hang out with friends
    • chat with friends
    • reminisce with my family
    • go to movies with my man
    • go on shopping adventures with friends
    • walk through beautiful gardens


    Make a list of what you do for fun, then photograph some of those items and make a layout. Simple really, remember it is important to document yourself.

    Supplies: letter stickers (AMerican Crafts) + border stickers and flower (Sassafras Lass) + + sticker (Little Yellow Bicycle) + Tuffy font
    Wendy Smedley's picture

    Just in Case You Missed It

    You still have a chance to enter to win a $50 gift certificate from scrapbook.com!

    As described (and demonstrated) in the previous blog post, just create a single layout inspired by a favorite movie or television show, and upload it to this gallery at Scrapbook.com by Thursday, April 29, and MAKE SURE you tag it "Ella TV challenge"!



    Here are a few page ideas:
    * Follow Katie's lead and scrapbook directly about a favorite TV show.
    * Compare your current family or the family you grew up in to a famous TV family (the Huxtables, the Bradys, the Bundys)
    * Create a page showcasing the movies you loved as a kid, compared with the movies your kids love most
    * Create a page listing the movies you've watched over and over again (Dirty Dancing? Pride & Prejudice? UP?)
    * Document a chronological list of your favorite shows from different eras of your life (from The Andy Griffith Show to The Office)
    * Scrapbook about a recent night out to the movies. Who went, what did you see, what snacks did you buy, what did the total bill come to?

    We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery this week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner from all seven weeks of Katie Scott's TV Challenges (including this week's entries) who will receive a $50 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com.

    (To view other layouts that have been submitted for this series, just click here and type "Ella TV" in the search box.)
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