Angie Lucas's picture

Fun Facts

And now for a few fun facts about Ella Publishing Co.'s latest book release, Picture Perfect: 129 expert tips for shooting stellar portraits, which had its big debut yesterday!



It's authored by well-known scrapbookers (and family photographers) Elisha Snow, Becky Novaceck, and Kelly Noel.

All of these super-talented women have their own blogs, where they share the photos they take of their family and their clients:
Elisha's blog
Becky's blog
Kelly's blog

Elisha had two sons when she started writing this book, but she has since welcomed her third son, Myles.

We didn't have a specific topic in mind when we invited the three photographers to be a part of the eBook, we just knew we wanted to work with each of them.

It took us roughly 18 weeks to narrow down the topic, select photos, write the tips, and have the eBook edited and designed.

This eBook is focused specifically on taking still or posed portraits of people, while Rebecca Cooper's eBook, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos, is focused mostly on everyday photography and candid shots.

Picture Perfect has more specific DSLR tips and advice than 40 Top Tips, although both eBooks are highly relevant and helpful to people who have point-and-shoot models.

You DO need to have both of these eBooks in your library, because they complement each other and do not overlap in content. :-)



Leave us a comment today, and we'll pick two winners who'll get a free copy of Picture Perfect or 40 Top Tips!
Donna Jannuzzi's picture

More Stretching, your sketches that is

In the introduction to my eBook Stretch Your Sketches I talk a little about my love of sketches.  I have used sketches ever since I started scrapbooking a little over three years ago.  They are an essential part of my creative process – I cannot make a layout without one.  One of the goals of my book is to teach scrapbookers how to get the most from sketches and their own layout designs.

I have mentioned this before, but one reason that I love sketches so much is because I tend to take a long time selecting products.  For me that is the fun part of the process.  I save time by having a design in mind before I start working, which allows me a little more time to play with different papers and embellishments during the creative process.  Sketches set the foundation for my page; they give me an idea of where I will place my photos, title and journaling. From there I let the photos and the story be my guide when choosing papers, embellishments and their placement.

Today I want to share with you two layouts that both started from the same sketch.  When seen side-by-side the similarities between the two layouts are obvious.  But these layouts won’t be in an album side-by-side and by using a sketch and applying a simple principle to “stretch” my sketch I was able to create two layouts that I love easily and quickly.

Here is the sketch that I started with, it is a simple single photo design and featuring a 4x6 photo:



Here is the layout I created using that sketch:

 

I want to take a moment here to thank my sister Deborah for allowing me to post her photo here.  I know that the time spent in the hospital after giving birth is not when most woman feel particularly attractive.  But really, few things are more beautiful than a happy family.

In order to stretch this sketch, I simply replaced the single 4x6 photo with two 3x4’s:



and here is the layout I made from this sketch:



I think it is nearly impossible to get two children under the age of 4 to both look into the camera at the same time.  I couldn’t choose just one photo from the set we took at church on Easter Sunday.  So instead I chose the best one with Gabe making eye-contact and one with Nathan making eye-contact.  I figured the two photos average each other out.  That works, right?

This is just one example of the many tips and techniques outlined in my eBook.  Whether you love sketches as much as I do or you just need a little creative push every now and then to get you going I think you’ll find Stretch your Sketches to be a great resource for teaching you how to get the most from your sketches.

 

And just like in my eBook here are some bonus sketches to help spark your creativity:

Because I can never pick just one favorite photo:

 

Inspired by a Container Store Ad in Real Simple Magazine:



Because I *love* trios of photos:



Have fun stretching!

And if you leave a comment on this post, I'll pick a random winner who will get a free copy of my eBook. Let's hear it!
Ella's picture

So Many Winners!

For all our myriad contests we've held in the recent past, we've selected several winners and notified them, sometimes forgetting to notify YOU that winners were selected. And after we got a couple of emails asking about the winners of certain exciting contests, we realized we need to do a better job of making our winners' names public.

So, please enjoy a comprehensive list of recent but as-yet-unannounced winners!

The Quick & Creative Quizzes winners from last week are: charmi.shah and Janice D-P
(I picked two winners because we had such a nice, large number of entries on Tuesday's post!)



The winner of the Anna Aspnes class on reneepearson.com was: pmnbunn

The most recent Katie Scott TV Challenge winners have been...
Week 5 was goldnuggt (see her layout here)
Week 4 was smbradford (see her layout here)

The Studio Calico Patchwork Kit winner from last month was: Valerie_am

The My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary winner from last month was: Jennifer Barksdale

All winners have been contacted directly. Congrats everyone! Keep checking back for more great contests.
Katie Scott's picture

TV Challenges: Week 6

If you've been following along, every Friday on The Daily Trumpet, we've been talking about TV Theme inspired scrapbook layouts and the Process of Scrapbooking and what inspires you to start a scrapbooking layout. Guess which approach (photo, story, product, or design) I used on today's layout?



supplies: patterned paper (Sassafrass, Cosmo Cricket, K&Company) + font (Cambria).
 
journaling: "Wii - Mac - Allison - Nixon: Since we got the wii - these three are the best of friends and were thrilled when we decided to get a third game player thing; that television set is now called the "Wii TV!"
 
Here are your choices for the inspiration for this page:
1. Photo First Approach: The picture in the layout today I took by standing in front of the tv and taking the TV's view of my family as they were watching (or in this case playing). So how did I get the kids to smile when I was standing in front of the TV?!? I told them I wasn't going to move until they all smiled! It worked like a charm, and I had this adorable picture of my kids and their cousin!
 
2. Story First Approach: I wanted to tell a story about my kids and how they are becoming so close to their cousin. Lately Nixon has been coming over to play the Wii with my kids and we've had several play dates that look just like this! I also wanted to tell the story about how one of our television is no longer used as a tv but as a Wii playing station.
 
3. Product First Approach: This Sassafrass patterned paper reminded me so much of the Wii SuperMario games that my kids play that I just had to use it on a layout! I love to cut out images from products that my kids have (like this Mario image from a package insert).  I had to cut this one out with kid scissors, because the good scissors in my scrapbooking space seem to have legs, and they walk all over the house all by themselves. Imagine that!
 
4. Design First Approach: Wendy Smedley had a blog post after CHA about a trend she liked that included 8 1/2 x 11 layouts with everything down the center of the page; I've been making layouts like this ever since I saw her trend-spotting blog post!
 
Leave a comment with your guess about what approach I used to make this page!
 
Week 6 Challenge:
  Make a scrapbook layout using the approach you use the least often. For example, if you are a story-first scrapbooker, try picking out a new product you've been wanting to use and start there first. Or if you are a photo-first girl, try picking a design you like and then finding the photos to fit into the design of the page. Please share your pages with us and let us know whether you found this exercise frustrating or refreshing!


Thanks Barb for another great sketch!

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner at the end of the 7 weeks 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.)
Linda Barber's picture

Blog inspired layouts

Apparently I’m the only scrapper without a blog, or so I’ve been told by some of my scrappy friends. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy blogs. Sometimes, I spend lots and lots of time reading them. Just ask my kids. (On second thought, don’t!)

Blogs are such a wonderful source of inspiration for me. But they are also a source for confusion. After reading too many blogs, my mind starts to spin with all that information. I end up feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities. And instead of being creative, I just want some tea, cake and a nap.

So I’ve set myself a little rule for blog reading: read a max of ten blogs a week. Yup. Ten. And I try to stick to only one or two posts per blog. Sounds crazy, because really, there is so much stuff out there to read and absorb. But now that I’ve put that myself under blog restriction, I feel like I’m getting much more out of them.



As I was thinking about this post, it occurred to me that while I’ve used blogs for sketch ideas, theme inspiration, titles, color combos, etc, I hadn’t created a layout about a blog itself! If any blog is deserving of a layout from yours truly, it’s the Smitten Kitchen. Its recipes are regular staples in my kitchen, and my family heartily approves of them all.

Because I’ve been trying to take photos daily (you can see my not-so-daily efforts on Flickr, I sometimes pull out my iPhone and document my dinner creations. The photos are blurry, and I usually have to yell at my family to leave the food alone, but they are a great peek into my daily life.

 
 
supplies: patterned papers: Cosmo Cricket, Studio Calico + alpha stickers and flair: American Crafts + corner rounder: Creative Memories + Polaroid frames: Shakeitphoto.com

I’ve also asked two of my friend (both of whom have blogs!) to scrap about their favorite blogs, and how it inspires them.



First is a layout filled with seriously cool details by Jenn Olson. Jenn says: “My favorite blog these days is Knock Off Wood. I find myself hooked on all the cool projects people make from her plans—it’s better than celebrity gossip!! I used some different wood grains, little pieces of veneer & even some screws to drive my ‘theme’. (I wanted to use nails—but do you think I could find any laying around—of course not!)”




supplies: Patterned papers:Studio Calico, Cosmo Cricket + fabrips, labels & woodgrain alpha: Studio Calico + small alpha: Making Memories + gaffer tape: 7gypsies



And a sweet and happy layout by Cindy Liebel. Cindy was inspired by artwork in the blog Rae Dunn: “I've been a fan of Rae Dunn's ceramic artwork for quite sometime now. I find her pieces thought provoking, and every simple detail is mesmerizing! I love how she adds just enough color to the all white, natural ceramic pieces. The impressions of her fingers is beautifully shown, which makes me love them even more. Perfection! I was totally inspired by her designs to create my layout. To get the same embossed look in her ceramic pieces onto my page, I used my letterpress to create the framing surrounding my photo. It added texture to the page along with the bold colors and a splash of red accents.”





supplies: pattern papers, craft alpha stickers & button: Jillibean Soup + embossed cardstock flowers: Bazzill + printing plates & inks: Quickutz Letterpress + rubons: American Crafts + label stickers: 7Gypsies + deco brads: Making Memories + pearls: Doodlebug + corner rounder: Fiskars

Well thanks for reading and why don't you scrap something inspired from your favorite blog?
Angie Lucas's picture

Quiz Time

A quiz is truly the best journaling shortcut I know. And a good quiz can also spark stories, ideas, and insights that you might never think to record if you hadn't been asked. With that idea in mind, I decided to create an ongoing album last year to capture my life at age 33. I wrote a fun quiz just for this purpose, and answered the same questions on the last day of each month for an entire year. (My birthday is March 31, so it made sense for me to choose the last day of the month, but you really can choose any day of the month you wish.) To see the steps for creating an album link this of your own, check out my blog today.





Here's what the quiz itself looks like:



To download this exact quiz in pdf form, simply click here.

To see six months of completed pages featuring this quiz, large enough for you to read the journaling, visit my blog today!


And to win a FREE copy of Quick & Creative Quizzes, an eBook containing about a dozen completely unique (and fun!) quizzes like this one (including a recurring quiz or two), just leave a comment on this post!

Katie Scott's picture

Ella TV Challenge: Week 5

As you've been playing along with making TV Theme inspired scrapbook layouts, have you noticed what type of approach you are using when starting a page—story, photo, product or design? (Read the discussion from Week 1  to refresh your memory.) Please let us know what approach to scrapbooking you usually use and what type you use if you have a challenge to respond to. Are they the same or different?
 
This next layout was picture first. I had these great photos of my kids at the library, and I wanted to use them on a page right now because I just got them back from my photo printer. My challenge was how to incorporate pictures of my kids reading into the TV Theme? The TV Theme gave me my journaling inspiration:


 
supplies: patterned paper (Die Cuts With a View) + cardstock + letters (Cosmo Cricket).
 
Journaling: "It makes me so very happy that with all the dvds + tivo + wii + computers that the two of you are growing up with, that an afternoon at the library with good old-fashioned books can be so attention grabbing and fun for the two of you. - Mommy 2/10"
 
Week 5 Challenge: Create a page about how you feel about the amount of time or the types of shows you or your children are watching. Please share your layouts so we can all take a look!


Barb created a sketch for us, thanks Barb!

(Post your finished layouts in this gallery at Scrapbook.com by next Thursday, and MAKE SURE you tag them "Ella TV challenge." We'll pick one random winner out of the gallery each week who will receive a free eBook. We'll also pick one random winner at the end of the 7 weeks 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.)
Katrina_Simeck's picture

Creativity - read all about it!

We invited Ella Friend Katrina Simeck to guest blog today about her favorite creative influences. Check back on the next few Thursdays as other Ella Friends tackle the creativity topic. Take it away, Katrina!

I have loved to read ever since, well...I learned how to read. I would get lost for hours with tales of people and places. My love of fiction waned over the years, and I began to pick up "how-to" books more often. How to cook, garden, take photographs, become a millionaire (need to read that one again), succeed in business...you get the drift. Fiction can be imaginative, but how-to can be rewarding. Somewhere in the middle is inspiring. These days, when I need a creative nudge, I pick up a book. Sometimes, the words inspire a project. Sometimes they merely inspire a thought. Either way? Helloooo creativity! Favorites, old & new...

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This book made the rounds of the scrapbooking community several years ago. Totally inspiring either as an album project, or even just a single page.


The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder by Jill Badonsky

Such a fun source of daily prompts & inspiration (and fun art, too!).


The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Wouldn't this make a great mini-album? I started reading the author's blog a few months ago, and find myself "seeing" little things that I'd like to document as being awesome in my life. For example, I'm planning to create an ode-to-my-blackberry layout (alternate title - the love of my life).


And, last but certainly not least...a current inspiring fave...
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I happened to read this book at the same time that I started reading the Awesome guy's blog. The combination definitely lit a creative spark!

With all this inspiration at my fingertips, I've started capturing images of things that make me happy...simply dubbed "Happy Things." It's a work in progress, with each page digitally designed for consistency & ease. Interestingly, several pages are about food. Hmmm. Not sure how that happened!







Need one more suggestion for your creativity reading list? It's right here at Ella...Stacy Julian's ebook...UR2 Cre8ive. Enjoy!

Ella's picture

Wednesday Giveaway by Renee

Renee Pearson of reneepearson.com has generously offered to give away a spot in an upcoming class!



Album Magic: A step by step course in album creation


If you’re comfortable creating complete 12 x 12 digital pages but the idea of creating a cohesive album based on a single theme sends you running in the opposite direction, then this class is for you! Anna Aspnes demystifies album creation and leads you, one step at a time, through her own tried and tested process that will have you planning and executing albums over and over in record time.

Read all about the class by clicking here!

Leave us a comment today (topic: what kind of computer do you use at home?), and we'll pick one winner who'll get a free spot in this class!

(The winner of yesterday's drawing for 40 Top Tips for Better Photos is JoMama. Congratulations!)
Rebecca Cooper's picture

Take Better Everyday Photos!

My eBook, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos, is all about the fact that you don't have to have perfect conditions to take important, meaningful photos. It's packed with helpful ideas for improving your everyday photography. Here are a few more illustrations of that!


In the hospital, no one can expect great light or scenery. But when your reason for visiting the hospital is as precious as this one, then you absolutely have to take pictures anyway. I simply used what I had on hand (a white blanket) to snap this picture of my sleepy new baby, Alivia. Even in low-light conditions, I got a keeper of a shot. (Image specs: Canon 5D Mk II, 50 mm 1/4 lens, f2.2, 640 ISO, 1/100 shutter speed)


I converted the picture to black-and-white, and used it on this layout, featuring her birth stats.



Here's a shot I took on just a regular day. Because of how I placed my  subject (away from the the bookshelf background) and my camera settings, the bookshelf is blurred enough that little Alivia still stands out. This photo was also taken in Winter in low light conditions, which called for a high ISO.  (Image specs: Canon 5D Mk II, 50 mm 1/4 lens, f3.2, 640 ISO, 1/100 shutter speed)

I'm here to tell you that you really can improve your photography little by little. Just practice a lot, and take baby steps toward mastering one new trick at a time. And my eBook can help you on your journey to better everyday photos and more confidence in your camera!



Thanks Rebecca! For more of her fabulous photography and crafty sensibilities, visit her blog. And leave a comment here on this post for your chance to win a free copy of this amazing eBook!
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