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November 30, 2011

In Turkish, we have a saying. It loosely translates to:

"Drop by drop, it becomes a lake."

This is how time works. Negligible amounts of time dedicated to the small task can end up amounting to tangibile, visible changes in your life.

I wanted to share some examples of my personal projects with you today. I will share three different examples with you. Just to show you that the idea applies across the board.

One of my goals this year was to learn how to sketch. I can't draw at all but I've always wanted to. I loved watching people sit with a piece of paper and pencil and create works of art within moments. I saw other people's sketchbooks and felt a strong desire to have my own. I was quite scared of this goal and postponed it for a while. Finally, on April 10, I decided enough was enough and I would start sketching every single day. Here are the two sketches I made on that day:

Yes, I told you. I can't draw.

Alas, I kept trying. I dedicated 15-30 minutes a day to it. Every single day since April 10. I took other people's sketches and tried to create my own versions. I used charcoal, colored pencils, pastel pencils, and eventually watercolors. I used photos as inspirations, too.

In the process I found artists that inspired me and I copied their work. Since I wasn't selling anything and made sure to give credit, I didn't worry about copying.

my version of the amazing sketch by Andrea Joseph

Then I started to draw off of photos:

and finally moved to watercolors:

With just 15 minutes or so every day, I was able to improve my sketching significantly. To the point that I am no longer scared to sit and draw. Yes, I still have days where I hate my creations and I have a long way to go before I can use my own imagination, but I am no longer scared when I see something. I no longer think "I could never do that." I know it's just a matter of time, patience, and dedication.

All it took to have faith in myself (and to draw better) was 15 minutes a day.

Here are two more examples of how regular dedication of time can make a tangible difference in your life:

Another project I worked on this year was starting to exercise. I have never, ever exercised in my life. I don't do any sports, and I don't even know how to ride a bike. On October 2, 2010, I decided enough was enough and I would start exercising every day. I started with a one mile walk around the neighborhood and slowly increased to a 45-minute exercise of 2 miles of walking and 1 mile of running. As of July 2011, I had lost 32 lbs. I now weigh less than I did when I was 19 years old. Yes, I did watch what I was eating but I'd been doing that for years. What made this work was the 45 minutes a day I dedicated to working out. And now that my stamina is higher, I was able to change things up so I run 2 miles instead of walking so my 45 minute exercise is down to 21 minutes. I can use the extra time to be with my family.

And, finally for something different, my oldest son just learned how to read a year ago and he's becoming more and more interested in books. I wanted to spend 2010 reading books to him to encourage his love for reading. Since I didn't grow up here, I asked around a lot and made a list. It had most of the classics from Charlotte's Web to The Wizard of Oz. I dedicated 20 minutes a day to read to him. Sometimes it would be during breakfast and other times, near bedtime. Just 20 minutes a day. I'd read to him and when we finished a book, he'd tell me what he thought of the book. (you can read more about the project here:) As of November 12, we've read 48 books together. Just 20 minutes a day.

So let's summarize. With 15-45 minutes a day of dedication a day on each task, in less than one year, I was able to improve my drawing, lose 32 lbs., and read 48 books. If those are not excellent results, I don't know what is. So next time you're complaining about how you don't have time to start something, remember that it takes a lot less time to accomplish a goal than you might think.

More importantly, what I learned when I was writing the Reclaiming My Time workshop is that you have a lot more free time each day than you think. All it takes is a good, hard look at where your time goes. I promise you, you will be surprised.

As you can see from my examples above, this class changed my life. It made me more productive, happier, and more fulfilled. Remember that how you spend your time is how you spend your life. So, I hope you join me in the workshop so we can all start reclaiming our time together.

Posted by karenika  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)


November 29, 2011

My memory keeping tip has to do with documenting the journey. Not everyone on the go has time to keep a journal.  I keep a small moleskine and write some words to remind me of what happened on that day.  This way when we are working on a specific page we can look back remember what happened.

For those of us that are more digital, I suggest using a Google calendar to make notes on the day and this can be done from the computer or a smart phone!

Megan Collier

Posted by Michelle H  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)


November 28, 2011

When I do something I love, I feel that “I am in line with the divine”—whether it is teaching, writing, hugging my children, or preparing a meal—they become a joyful expression, as they are all things I love to do.

Do you spend time doing things you love to do? Today, spend time doing something that you LOVE to do. Pay attention to how that makes you feel. Then notice how your good vibrations ripple out to everyone you are near.

Get to know more about Elizabeth by taking her Big Picture class, Just b, or check out her books. 

e-inspiration archive

  1. Can YOU be open to wonder?
  2. Tap in and feel PEACE
  3. What drives you CRAZY?
  4. Awakening the intelligence of your body
  5. Present Moment, Beautiful Moment

Posted by Elizabeth Irvine  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


November 23, 2011

Scrappers familiar with Studio Calico know that each month they will see several fun kits combining the latest scrapbooking products with unique finds from a variety of sources, all the while staying true to the basics. Included in many of those kits are exclusive and unique stamps. We are excited to have stamping guru Jennifer McGuire share with you how she used the stamps from the Studio Calico Handmade kits. You will walk away with several techniques to add to your stamping arsenal.

Ready to put these techniques to practice?


Studio Calico Giveaways

Studio Calico has given us 2 prize packages to share with BPC readers. 2 lucky winners will be sent three of the kits from the Studio Calico Handmade Kit Collection.

  1. Main Kit Handmade
  2. Thimble
  3. Tatting

To enter, leave a comment below on this blog post sharing your favorite stamping technique.

Giveaway closes in 48 hours 12:00 pm PST 11/25/11

Posted by kellypurkey  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)


November 22, 2011

Brought to you from our favorite inspirational publisher, Compendium, a special offer just for our members. But first here is some lovely eye candy for you!

Journals and Notebooks

Inspirational Books

Cards pretty enough to frame

and of course they have lots more. Now for the offer see the details below.

Big Picture followers receive 35% off + free shipping on orders over $50.00 from now until the end of Cyber Monday November 28.

Use coupon code BP35 at checkout.

Happy shopping!!

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)


November 21, 2011

We want to welcome Brittany from One Charming Party as a guest blogger today.

"Surprise the children at your Thanksgiving Feast this year with their very own turkey--a paper bag turkey full of popcorn of course. Invite the oldest grandchild or an adult guest of honor to “carve” the turkey with a real knife or scissors. Then everyone can enjoy some popcorn while they wait for Thanksgiving dinner to start.

You will need: 3-4 bags of popcorn, a large brown grocery bag, 2 small brown lunch bags, a hot glue gun, scissors, white paper for the frills


1. For the frill, take a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11" white paper and cut it in half lengthwise. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and make small cuts with a pair of scissors on the folded half to create loops.

2. For the drumsticks, make one hand into a fist and stick it inside the lunch bag. With your other flat hand, press on the bag to mold and smash it down into a more rounded shape. Fill the bag 2/3 of the way with popcorn. Gather up the bottom of the bag and twist to keep it tight. Hot glue the beginning of the length of frill and wrap it around the bottom, twisted part of the lunch bag. Then hot glue the end of the white paper frill to keep it in place.

3. For the main bag, do the same thing as the drumstick to make the corners rounded. Fill the bag up full with popcorn. Fold the sides of the bag in and tuck the bottom edge under. Hot glue the edge shut. Hot glue the legs onto the sides of the "turkey." It's best to use a plain brown bag, but if you can only find one with writing on the outside, you can carefully turn the bag inside out and it will be just fine."

*If using buttered popcorn to fill the turkey, use parchment or wax paper to line the paper bag to avoid grease marks.

One Charming Party  | Photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat.

For more party fun check out the One Charming Party show on My Craft Channel or connect with them on Facebook or follow on Twitter.


Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


November 19, 2011

How are you planning to spend 2012? Do you want to be an inspired scrapbooker? Do you want to tell the story of your life, and your family consistently throughout the year? Do you need some inspiration, and direction?

I just got off of the phone with Stacy Julian, talking all about Twelve. her latest, brand new, fantastic 4Expert workshop. This class is packed full of great stuff...and of course full of color (it is Stacy after all!). You'll spend all of 2012 being inspired by our super-inspiring leader. I promise, this is a class you won't want to miss!

Slideshows, emails, photo prompts, a package full of goodies in the mail, colorful handouts, videos...

...and you'll make a Twenty Twelve album, a Photos I Love album, 12 layouts a month...

There is so much content in this class; I could never do it justice in a blog post. But I can promise you that Stacy is hard at work to make this her best class yet. She is so excited to spend 2012 with you, becoming a more inspired scrapbooker. Don't miss out! Registration is open now!

Posted by BrandiH  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)


November 17, 2011

Learn how BPC member Laura Pinto-Nguyen uses Pinterest for inspiration and creation!

Pinterest has taken over a lot of my resources as a place for creative inspiration and a place for knowledge. I mean, how did I ever manage to live without knowing the many uses of toothpaste?, knowing how to lift pills off sweaters or learning to make my own sugar scrubs? Pinterest has taken me out of a cave and given me a good place to start....to start doing my own scrubs, cleaners and... a fall wreath? Yes, a wreath...seriously have you even been able to see the amount of DIY items on Pinterest and the amazing layouts and cards and paper/fabric creations?!

Fist of all, what is Pinterest? Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Instead of cutting out pictures and photos out of book and magazines, Pinterest provides you with a virtual board to store all your favorite things. Here are my pinboards:

The really cool thing about creating your very own virtual boards on Pinterest is that you can share your boards with your favorite peeps and so there is tremendous amount of sharing.

I had been wanting to make my very own fall wreath since last year and I was able to find so many ideas on Pinterest that I had no trouble coming up with how to make my very own rustic wreath even using some of my most beloved Stampin'Up goodies.

Here is some eye candy an inspirational pics I used to help me make my own fall wreath:

fabric leaves

burlap & fabric rosettes

burlap wrapped wreath & cute banner

burlap/fabric roses & brown bow

felt pinecone tutorial - love!!

Give thanks" phrase on wreath

So put these all together for my own version of a rustic fall wreath while incorporating stamping:


You may visit my blog for a complete list of supplies used for this wreath HERE. Once you are there, feel free to browse around for other paper crafting and stamping projects.

In the meantime, have fun pinning!!!

Laura Pinto-Nguyen



Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)


November 15, 2011
It’s our 6th Birthday and we want you to come and celebrate with us this week! For a birthday treat, please enjoy 50% off ALL of the Self-Paced classes on our website (good through November 20th).

Enter this promo code at checkout: 6thbirthday

Thank you for being a part of Big Picture Classes, and for being the reason we’re celebrating 6 years in business!

Disclaimer: This coupon only applies to Self-Paced classes; coupon does not apply towards Workshops, Products or Gift Certificates. Expires November 20th at 10:00pm PST. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be entered in the "Promo Code" box during checkout and press "apply" button; discount will be applied immediately. Not applicable towards previous purchases. Other terms and restrictions may apply.

Posted by KayceDesign  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)


November 14, 2011

We love highlighting our students and want you to join in. Below you will see the featured students from 2010, aren't they cute??


Melissa Hernandez

Lynn F

Laura Strobel

Karen Poirier-Brode

Julia Meuller

Cheri Andrews



Melanie Lavergne

Nicole Mackin

Kirsten Reed


Angie Arey

Mary Mitchell

Carolyn Cease

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


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