Monday, July 12, 2010

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: 8 is Enough by April Foster and Studio Calico

8 is Enough by April Foster and Studio Calico is the latest title to the collection of Ella Publishing Co. eBooks.

The subtitle of this book is "Easy ways to stretch supplies and use leftovers." This gives great insight into exactly what this eBook is all about.

In the intro, April shares who own experience with needing to downsize her craft stash for various reasons and shares the following thought:

"I thought these limitations would be stifling, but they were freeing. I found myself putting layouts together faster than ever - and enjoying the creative process more than I had in a long time."

Certainly the author and her contributors (Nicole Harper, Kelly Noel, Stephanie Howell, and Lisa Truesdell) feel that limits can have this effect for many of us and give us specific examples throughout the eBook as to how it can be achieved without having our layouts become repetitive and many fear can be the result of limited supplies.

Each contributor has a turn to present 8 their personal eight product picks and then proceed to showcase four amazing (and individually unique) layouts they created using this ONE collection of products. And get this - the products collections are all created from LEFTOVERS from past Studio Calico kits!

Things like cardstock, fonts and pens are considered freebies.

I loved how each artist also brought a scrapbooking tool of some sort (like a punch) in to the mix of their 8 products and showed how versatile it can be in creating accents and embellishments to keep your layouts looking fresh.

Each sample layout comes with a brief discussion of the layout and basic process of how the artist used her products to create the layout.

Each sample layout also comes with a {stretch it!} note - basically an additional technique or idea related to the project to help stretch the products used.

Not all, but most, also come with a {bonus tip}. Generally, these notes have ideas geared more towards design, journaling, photo techniques and more.

At the end of the eBook, there is a worksheet which serves as a call to action to choose your own 8 products and create your own 4 amazing designs.

They're even hosting a contest for those that submit their product list and layouts to Ella. They will choose one winner each month through March 2011 to be featured on the Ella blog, receive an Ella prize package AND the Studio Calico monthly kit club! Take the challenge!!

8 is Enough is available for download for only $6.99!!

I have one free download of 8 is Enough to give away to one lucky reader!

Leave a comment by 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, July 15th, 2010 answering the following question for your chance to win:

Have you ever consciously limited the number of products you allowed yourself to use on a given layout or group of layouts? Did you find that the limit stifled or energized your creative process?

I'll announce the chosen winner on Friday, the 16th. Be sure to come back to see if you've won!

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