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May 31, 2011

Examining and learning from professional designers allows us to improve our design skills. Since we are featuring product and projects from American Crafts I have been perusing their products and blog and have a handful of tips for working with patterns based on their layout samples.

Try these tips next time you work with multiple patterns

Tip 1. combine small scale patterns that coordinate

Home by in house designer, Ann-Marie Morris using Pebbles newest line, Floral lane. (see end of post for chance to win)

"Inspired by the ambiance of a neighborhood floral shop, Floral Lane features flower arrangements, newsprint and jewel embellishments; as well as sweet phrases and a soft color palette. It’s bloomin’ cute."

Weather man by Shannon Zickel

Tip 2. use one large scale pattern with one color as the background, add pops of color with other patterns

Lomo by Susan Weinroth

Pug by Melanie Louette

Tip 3. keep the patterns all the same size and shape

What I Love Most about YOU by Melanie Louette

41 by Cindy Tobey

layouts from American Crafts contributing design team

Giveaway from American Crafts

Make sure you take a peek at the Craft Room video  featuring the Floral Lane collection, where Ann-Marie talks about all of the individual pieces found within the collection and gives unique ideas on how to use the paper and embellishments.

We’d love to give away a Floral Lane prize pack to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on the American Crafts  and/or Pebbles Facebook page (your chances will double if you do both) telling us that BPC sent you there. Leave your comment by June 1 at midnight. We’ll announce the winner on Thursday, June 2.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)


May 27, 2011

Take a long, hot bath. At the end of a busy day, take 30 minutes to relax your weary muscles and joints, and to allow your mind to rest. Whether it's a simple soak, or over-the-top with bubbles, soft candle light and a good book, quiet your mind, be in the moment, and simply enjoy the warm waters.

Posted by KayceDesign  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)


May 26, 2011



This is a photo of Salisbury Cathedral in the U.K. that was taken on a recent trip.  It's a magnificent place and I'm especially taken by it because the book "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett is loosely based on it.  Being a visual person, seeing the cathedral really brought the book to life for me.


Liz Young



Posted by Michelle H  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)


May 25, 2011

It's that time of year when many of us make teacher appreciation gifts. And shop your stash to craft a homemade gift, ideas galore below.

First up from featured partner, American Crafts Studio blog

necklace tutorial

candy tube

cover a notebook

how to cover headbands

DIY Gifts in under an hour

free printable teacher thank yous from Giverslog.com

colored pencil vase from happyclippings.com

abc flowers from gigglesgalore.com

make a set of personalized teacher thank you cards

bag of smore goodies with free printable from domesticatedlady.com

jam how to with free printable label

DIY Gifts in one-two hours + (depending on your skill)

crayon picture frame by feltsocute.com

starburst pencil mirror

braided necklace at whipup.net

reusuable lunch bag from tumbling blocks

tutorial on how to design a custom designed gift tag from goodlookcookbook.com


lavender dryer sachets

wooden ball picture holder from skiptomylou.com

design your own bookmarks from goodlookcookbook.com

Links to a few DIY gifts in three hours +

Shrinky dink necklace tutorial from Just Something I Made

reusuable ruffled grocery bags at sawdustandpaperscraps.com

art supply pouch from Chezbeeper

Have fun, and share what you did!


Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)


May 24, 2011


I have a great tip on saving money when printing 2x3 photos. I don't order wallet size photos - you pay extra money and get 2-4 copies when you only need one. Instead, I'll take 4 different photos in Photoshop Elements and merge them together, then print it as a 4x6. I save money and only get what I need at the same time.


Jennifer Reilly

Do you have a tip for your fellow BPC friends? We’d love to hear it! Please email your Tuesday Tips to tips@bigpictureclasses.com. If your tip is featured here on our blog you’ll receive a $10 BPC gift certificate!  

Posted by Michelle H  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)


May 23, 2011

It's just 10 days until Claudine's new online class starts! Have you signed up yet? Claudine created a little video explaining the details about the class, how it works, what to expect etc. 

If you are reading this from a feed and can't see the video above, click here to watch on youtube.


  • Welcome notes from Claudine in the classroom
  • Colorful instructional handouts with step-by-step instructions for each lesson/project
  • 20 sheets of high resolution printable collage pages created from Claudine's favorite images -- all  to use in our composition exercises (a $100 value!!)
  • Instructional videos
  • Powerpoint slideshows with Claudine's  lively audio instruction
  • Reminder emails when the classroom is updated with new materials
  • Weekly emails offering inspiration, images from other artists and discussion about what we are working on that week
  • Private posting gallery to share your work and view the work of your classmates and Claudine
  • Email access to Claudine and lots of "Claudine" time 
  • Message board to share your thoughts with your classmates 
  • Two live chats with Claudine 
  • and more!!


YES! $30! That's only $1 a day!! Woweee!!! Ready to Sign up? CLICK HERE!


  • Is this class open to International students? - YES! That's what is so great about online classes no matter where you are you can take it!
  • Do I have to buy all Claudine Hellmuth Studio products to take the class? No you don't. Actually there is NO SUPPLY LIST. We repeat. NO SUPPLY LIST. Work with what you have and use the downloads Claudine provides. Yay!
  • Do I have to be "present" each day to take the class? No you don't! You can follow along as the class progresses, or check in periodically and download the directions, watch the videos at your leisure! It is *best* if you can follow along with the class as Claudine will be able to comment on your work and help you, but if you are out of town, don't worry, you won't miss out on any details!
  • When does the class start? June 2nd
  • How much is the class? $30 for 4 weeks of instruction! That's only $1 a day!
  • Where is the supply list? Actually there is NO SUPPLY LIST. Work with what you have and use the collage downloads I provide. Easy!!
  • How long does the class stay active for those who registered? Students will have "forever access" to the class materials, which means that class will end June 29th (so there will no longer be teacher interaction), but students can go back at any point in time (as long as BPC exists) and access the class materials, gallery and message board! WOW!
  • I am just starting making art/collage: That's great! You'll get a jump start just by learning these composition techniques and it will save you a lot of headaches.
  •  Will it be fun? Composition sounds like math? Of COURSE it will be FUN!! Claudine likes to have fun and promises you'll be learning and laughing!!
  • Will it work on my ipad? Yes! You can lie on the couch and watch all the videos right on your ipad!

READY TO SIGN UP? CLICK HERE! - Don't wait! This class will not be repeated until 2012!!

Posted by KayceDesign  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)


May 21, 2011

I thought it would be fun to go through a couple of the classes that I’ve been editing and pull out a few little sneak peeks for all of you loyal blog readers…
From Stacy, re: Finding Photo Freedom {week one welcome message}
We are going to spend the next ten weeks (together) building a comprehensive system that will support all of the ways you want to live with your photos and share your life. I will teach and present proven principles of organization and show you how to effectively use essential tools, with lots of extra ideas so that you can act on inspiration and avoid the feelings of boredom, obligation and guilt.
 From Composition for Collage with Claudine Hellmuth {week 2 download}
Claudine is offering a TON of bonus collage downloads in her class. These alone are worth more than the price of the class! Here’s a peek at one of the collage images you’ll get if you take this class!

Posted by BrandiH  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)


May 18, 2011

10 + 10 + 10 @ 10 challenge

Here are layouts from BPC participants.

Melissa chose the following ten products to make her layout.

  1. Cardstock (Bazzill)
  2. Patterned Paper (Crate Paper)
  3. Button (stash)
  4. twine (Jillibean Soup)
  5. flower stamp (Inkadinkado)
  6. Embossing powder (Stampendous)
  7. mist (Smooch Spritz by Clearsnap)
  8. Book paper (stash)
  9. pearls (EK Success)
  10. Brads (K & Company)

From Deb

  1. texture paint
  2. patterned paper
  3. mirror embellie
  4. bling
  5. flowers
  6. sticker
  7. alphas
  8. string
  9. staples
  10. journal spot

Make your own 10 + 10 + 10 @10 challenge layout and upload it to the gallery!


Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


May 16, 2011

For those of you that missed out on the National Scrapbook Day crop I thought it would be fun to share a challenge from inside the classroom. This challenge is from Stacy Julian and it ties into her Finding Photo Freedom class.

Here is Stacy,

10 + 10 + 10 @ 10 Challenge

"I would like you to scrapbook a photo of someone you love with TEN products, TEN techniques and TEN words.

TEN products
For some of you this will be easy. For others, not so much—either way, begin with your cardstock and count up ten consumable products and incorporate them into your design. Note: You do not need to count each individual items (ie, two stickers from the same sheet) or very generic things like pens, brads, staples, thread etc ….

Here are my products:

  1. cardstock (Coredinations)
  2. dimensional stickers (Pebbles/American Crafts)
  3. fabRips fabric tear strip (Studio Calico)
  4. Color-Ready kraft borders (Close To My Heart)
  5. paper ticket (Jenni Bowlin)
  6. rhinestone bow (Jenni Bowlin)
  7. Teeny Alpha stickers (Glitz Design)
  8. decorative tape
  9. paper flower (Prima)
  10. ribbon (Scarlet Lime kit)

TEN techniques
My recommendation is just START and anytime you think of something to try or do, do or try it—the "Big Daddy" technique in my book is intentional imperfection, so if you haven't tried that, now is the time!

Here are my techniques:

  1. sanding
  2. tearing
  3. sewing/stitching
  4. punching (Fiskars Scallop Heart)
  5. painting
  6. stamping (flower stamp from Close To My Heart)
  7. embossing
  8. stapling (I think using staples totally counts!)
  9. clustering
  10. intentional IMPERFECTION (make this not perfect on purpose!)

TEN words
Now, here's the "Stacy Julian" part: As we build relationships in our families and with our friends, we discover characteristics in these loved ones that are also characteristics in us. Sometimes these traits have gone completely unnoticed; other times they are simply under-developed and being with this person strengthens them. And sometimes, these traits are obvious and mature, but we don't fully appreciate them until we encounter them in our loved one and draw a personal connection. It wasn't until I adopted Addie and began raising a daughter that I fully recognized and appreciated many of my feminine traits. Addie has taught me (and showed my husband and boys) that I am NOT crazy—I am simply a girl! I have wanted to create a page dedicated to the female characteristics Addie and I share for a long time. Note: I think I'll go back and add the word "CLUB" just above "PRINCESS" because we are both members!"

Make your own and upload to the gallery!!!



Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)


May 14, 2011

Here at Big Picture Classes we have some wild and crazy teachers. I can always count on Tami Morrison for a laugh. I thought that you might enjoy an inside look into what an editor-teacher email looks like.

On Apr 26, 2011, at 11:29 AM, "Brandi Hennessy" <brandih@bigpictureclasses.com> wrote:
Hi Ladies!
Just a reminder that the GASC content is due today!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Brandi Hennessy
On Apr 26, 2011, at 11:50 AM, Tami Morrison <bcre8uv@aol.com> wrote:
Working frantically on it! I uploaded almost all of the MoMints stuff yesterday - just need to do the audios. Take Note is kind of freaking me out since I'm winging it w/o the actual final
supply list or products to make my sample right now & I have to rethink my design due to lack of binding machine sponsorship. :-O
Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 26, 2011, at 11:57 AM, Brandi Hennessy <brandih@bigpictureclasses.com> wrote:
Thanks Tami! Let me know if you need anything from me!
Brandi Hennessy
Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 26, 2011, at 12:02 PM, Tami Morrison <bcre8uv@aol.com> wrote:
Some sort of gadget to freeze time until I get this figured out would be awesome...do you have one of those? :P
Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 26, 2011, at 12:03 PM, Brandi Hennessy <brandih@bigpictureclasses.com> wrote:
I bet Tristan could invent one on Super Scribblenauts!
Brandi Hennessy
Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 26, 2011, at 12:04 PM, Tami Morrison <bcre8uv@aol.com> wrote:
Love that game! It's the reason my 7 yr old knows how to spell blowtorch.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted by BrandiH  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)


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