Dimensional Details at Big Picture Classes

I found my “joy” through Dimensional Details

Several years ago I took a class through Big Picture Classes called Dimensional Details, taught by a very creative artist from Down Under, Nic Howard. This sample is what I made for the pre-class assignment, which was to take a phrase, or a creative mantra, print it out on paper, and use it as the background for a scrapbook layout.

I was really taken by a picture on the cover of the New Yorker magazine from March 29, 2010. I have always loved the combination of white, black, and red (thank you, dear Stephanie, my late stepmother, who also shared this passion), so I scanned the cover and saved it as a jpg. My problem, though, was finding a mantra. After much research, I finally came across one that seemed to fit my perspective on creativity to a “T”:

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson, Wellness Author and Speaker


In addition to making a photo of the magazine cover, I also printed out a copy of it onto light card stock so I could cut out some of the butterflies.

I have since come to realize that for me, that quote holds more than a bit of irony: I have focused on the journey many, many, many times and had lots and lots of joy, and often very little finishing! Just ask my husband about the quilt for the bed (and pick one, either the crochet one or the fabric one). Remember that humorous saying that was everywhere several years ago: whoever dies with the most (insert your own word here, be it fabric, paper, embellishments, whatever) wins? I really didn’t want to be the poster child for that saying, but I’m afraid I’m off to more than a good start! 🙂


My Paper Pumpkin June 2014: the Kit Deconstructed

Let’s turn pinwheels and treat bags from the My Paper Pumpkin June 2014 kit into a scrapbook layout!

When I opened up the My Paper Pumpkin June 2014 box I was a little anxious about what I was going to do with the contents.

I don’t hold parties for the Fourth of July, I don’t attend any, and really, I don’t do much of anything at all on that day. When my kids were younger (and when they still lived at home) we used to meet at a friend’s house to sit on her lawn and watch the fireworks that were set off at the high school just across from her yard.

So what to do? I’m not very good at coming up with my own ideas of how to do things, but I figured that it would be more of a challenge for myself to create a layout instead of just making another card.  So here’s what I came up with:

I literally tried to use every single thing that came in that box! I flattened the straws and cut up one of the cellophane treat bags to use as my base. I used the photopolymer stars stamp with the Night of Navy ink on the white banners, and attached one of the paper clips from the kit onto each one.

I punched three holes in the bottom right corner of the page to add three of the big, bright silver brads (p.s., I am not really sure why the blue looks so light in this picture, but just go with it. It really is the same Night of Navy as the others!).

And instead of using the pattern paper that had been pre-cut and pre-punched for large pinwheels, I used my square punch and punched out smaller scraps to make my own pinwheels.

I chose my neighbor Russ as the subject of my layout – he used to live next door, but he had to go into assisted living a few years ago cause he just couldn’t do the stairs in his house anymore. Plus he lived alone; my husband and I were the ones that found him in bad shape both times he went to the hospital in an ambulance. Not a pleasant experience, I assure you. But Russ still hangs in there – he’ll be ninety-three on July 17, the same day as my youngest. He still loves to watch Mash and Wheel of Fortune, and he still reads the paper every day. I really miss having him next door. He was the best neighbor ever!

How did you use the My Paper Pumpkin June 2014 goodie box? Wait…

What do you mean, you don’t subscribe!!

Well, you better check it out then – I mean, you don’t have to be an expert at crafts to do this – because everything that comes in each monthly box is pre-cut and ready for you to assemble. And each kit is different, and each one is exclusive. You can’t buy this stuff anywhere else! So check it out. You can try it for just a month, and cancel at any time, or you can save a little dough and buy a prepaid subscription. Or you can even give a subscription as a gift!  Join Now!


BFFs and Boo-Boos

About a year ago my daughter and son-in-law adopted two adorable little kittens from the animal shelter in Baltimore. The two cats were being fostered together and had established an incredible attachment to each other. They will be bffs for life. So of course, you couldn’t take one without taking the other.  I lost my own beloved Ambrose several years ago and miss him incredibly. I was so happy when two of my girls adopted cats.

I was teaching a layout class at a retreat this Spring, and in going through my digital photos, I came across these two little guys, and right away I knew what I wanted to do. This is the left page of the two page layout I created, inspired by one made by Andrea Walford at Papercrafter’s Library. I love how Gil has paw resting so protectively on Cooper’s head while they nap!

And yes, I did indeed make a boo-boo when stamping on this page. When I stamped the “sweet, sweet moments” under the smaller picture I messed up the word “moments.” So I went back to my paper and cut out a small piece of the same patterned paper, re-stamped the word, and then mounted the new piece directly over the mistake, attempting to match up the lines of the print. Not entirely successful, I admit, but you know, it wasn’t a big enough mistake to throw out the whole layout and start again. Just sayin’. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done! LOL

You can see in the top picture of the strip below that Gilbert is very inquisitive and has a penchant for trying to crawl into things. Here he has made his home in a box, but I have seen him equally at home in plastic grocery bags and even bubble wrap! My daughter tells me that Coop is the one who most likes to snuggle; his ability to cuddle is very much on display below! Unfortunately I can’t display Gil’s aptitude for talking – he is very vocal!

I really liked this color combination. And I adore those two little kitties!

Sale-a-Bration 2014

It’s Sale-a-Bration 2014 and the layouts are easy!

I haven’t done a scrapbook layout in a really long time, and I’ve notice that, while I have seen many absolutely gorgeous cards made with the Sale-A-Bration products, I haven’t seen too many layouts yet at all. So yesterday I sat down determined to change that, especially since I have fallen in love with the Sweet Sorbet Designer Series Paper. Below you’ll find the left side page:

I no longer work chronologically when I scrapbook now. I used to; I was so determined to get everything scrapbooked in the same order as it happened in my life, but I realized that trying to do so was an almost impossible task and one that was so overwhelming that I almost stopped scrapping altogether. But then I sat back and decided that one of the aspects I loved most about the crafting was the beautiful paper. So I started pulling out paper and  going through my piles and piles of photographs to see what kind of inspiration took hold. Consequently, I have an album that has a miss-mash of layouts in it, in no particular order, but they’re done, and when it comes time to setting them permanently into an album it’ll be very easy to do: it’ll just be a matter of slipping the layouts from one page protector to another.

In addition to the paper that is a Sale-a-bration 2014 exclusive, I used the See Ya Later, Banner Blast, and Petal Parade stamp sets. I fussy cut some of the big flowers out of one of the pages of the Sweet Sorbet paper, and hand-drew all the little stitching lines. I used the exclusive mini banner punch on a piece of Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock that I had run through my Big Shot with the (also exclusive) Decorative Dots embossing folder. In the flower centers I used some of our smaller Basic Jewels Rhinestones, and colored over them with a black alcohol ink marker.

That’s all I’ve got so far. Now I’m headed back to the work table to make another layout, this time with some of the papers from the Occasions Catalog!


I am a Mom, but I lost my own in 1980, my mother-in-law in 1995, and my stepmother in 2003.  I thought I would use this Art of Observation folder to put in my three moms’ photos and jot down some thoughts about each of them.  It seems hard to believe that I have lived longer without my mother than I had her when she was alive.

Paper Curling

One of the embellishing ideas suggested by Nic Howard in the Dimensional Elements class at Big Picture is the paper curling technique.

Basically, you mist the edges of your paper and then manipulate them so they curl inward.  In this layout I took that idea just a little further. I cut out two circles and sewed them together, then cut open the top circle, cutting from the center out, and curled the edges outward.  I haven’t decided if I like the effect or not, but no matter what, I got a layout made and some pictures scrapped, so it’s a win-win!

The butterflies are actually transparencies I printed off and then fussy cut and glued down.

She Walks in Beauty

There’s just something about black and white wedding photos – and I love the crispness and clean look of using black and white papers and elements to showcase them.  The paper is from Stampin Up’s Night and Day Designer Series paper.  The banners are from Heidi Swapp’s Color Magic line, and they’re sprayed with Tattered Angels “Charcoal” Glimmer Mist.  I printed the title (using Chopin Script font (it’s free)).


A Couple of Scrapbook Pages

I have been working on different projects, I just haven’t had time to post them!  I’ll upload a couple here and try to add more in the next few days.

This is my page (above) for the 2012 edition of Dimensional Details over at Big Picture Classes, the pre-class handout.  The words on the page were written by Nic Howard, the class instructor.

This is from the same class, week two.  Layering paper and masking techniques were that week’s highlights.  I haven’t used rubber stamps in my projects in so long – I’m glad this class has rekindled my love of all things stamping!!

First Dance

Their First Dance

For the third week I made a folio of some of the pictures from my daughter’s wedding. I made a composite of the photos in Publisher which is why you’re seeing it as one big image. I had originally posted this on the very first site I ever blogged on. Long ago and far away!!

First dance at the wedding for the Art of Observation Class