Home My Account My Cart

Big Picture Classes
New to the site? Start here!
June 12, 2014

“For this page, I started with my go-to kraft cardstock. Then I used my photos to determine my patterned paper choices. Because there were many hues in the photos, I selected a rainbow of patterns (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, and blue) and cut them into various sized pennants to span the top edge of my page. The pennants also work as visual ‘arrows’ directing attention to my photos. To embellish the page, I used the same rainbow colors, picking one or two accents in each color to scatter across the decorative border.” Lisa Dickinson

Source: Lisa Dickinson, contributor to May Flaum’s eBook, Fashionably Fast: 10 strategies for stylish, speedy scrapbook pages

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 11, 2014

Below is an article previously published in Ella Publishing's ezine. The author is Rachel Gainer and page desginers are Rachel Gainer and Wendy Smedley.

For some scrapbookers, mixing patterns from different manufacturers is intuitive, effortless, and energizing. But for others, the process is intimidating or even paralyzing. If you fall into this second category, don’t despair. You can still match patterns like a pro.

In her eBook, Design Workshop: Become a design genius in 10 easy steps, Lisa Dickinson offers reliable advice for designing pages like a professional graphic designer. (After all, she is a professional graphic designer.) Lisa's tips for matching patterns are simple and easy to apply, giving every scrapbooker a chance to overcome that paralyzing feeling and achieve beautifully mismatched results. Not convinced? Wendy Smedley and Rachel Gainer—two pattern-matching novices—took Lisa’s advice to heart and found that pairing patterns wasn’t as impossible as it seemed. Find out what they discovered; then test the tips for yourself.

Tip 1: Combine different-colored patterns that are the same scale.

Even if the colors are widely different, choosing similarly sized patterns will give your papers a sense of commonality and unity. This technique works especially well with small, repeating patterns that are each mostly one color. Such simple designs add texture and depth without stealing attention away from photos and journaling.

To save time, Wendy often relies on coordinated collections, but for this assignment, she challenged herself to choose papers from four different manufacturers. Following Lisa’s advice, she looked for geometric patterns of approximately the same size. Three of her choices are predominantly one color plus white, and the last is a striped pattern that includes the other colors. Wendy says, “I enjoyed getting inside Lisa’s head and learning how she intuitively lays out her pages. I’m thrilled with how my layout turned out, and I’m looking at my patterned paper in an entirely new light.”

If you feel uncomfortable abandoning the security of precoordinated papers, experiment with a combined approach. To create this feminine page, Rachel started with two floral patterns from BasicGrey’s Lemonade line. Then, using these papers as color inspiration, she selected three supplemental patterns from different manufacturers. “Lisa’s tip made it easy to mix floral and geometric patterns, a look I’ve always admired,” says Rachel. “I love that I can start in my comfort zone—with precoordinated papers—and still achieve that handpicked look.”

Tip 2: Combine different-sized patterns from the same color palette.
To mix small and large patterns on a single layout, you’ll need to use another visual cue to tie the papers together. Repeating similar colors throughout your design is a simple way to establish a sense of unity and flow.

Like most scrapbookers, Wendy owns a lot of patterned paper. Since she organizes that paper by manufacturer and collection rather than color, it’s not always easy for her to round up papers that fit a specific, predetermined color palette. In this case, she decided to simplify her search by sticking to just one hue (green). And thanks to Lisa’s advice, she felt confident about pairing elegant organic prints with more casual gridded patterns, because they had something else in common—color. “This was very different from my normal process,” says Wendy. “But I’m happy with the results, and I plan to use this approach many times in the future.”

While Wendy followed Lisa’s advice by pulling together designs in a single hue, Rachel opted for a more colorful approach, using the bright bird paper to inspire her color palette. Each of the other papers is predominantly one color plus white, as in Wendy’s first layout. But unlike Wendy’s patterns, these patterns all vary in size—from the tiny green grid to the large yellow ovals. The varying pattern sizes work together because they reflect colors in the bird paper and share a casual, geometric feel.

If you still feel paralyzed by all the patterns at you fingertips, try limiting your choices. Set a timer for ten minutes, and pull five small patterns with one dominant color from your stash. Or start with just one sheet, and build from there. Just remember that all your papers should share at least one strong visual connection (whether it’s color, style, or pattern size), and you’ll be mixing and matching patterns like a pro in no time. Guaranteed!

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)


June 10, 2014

“I arranged seven square images on this simple grid design, leaving just enough room for my title and some journaling. Reverse-cut titles (or negative titles) pack a really cool visual punch on any page, and they can be done both digitally and with paper and glue. They give a fun peek-a-boo effect to a layout with the background showing through the letters of the title.” Cathy Zielske


Source: Cathy Zielske in Scrap Chic: Tricks for being trendy without sacrificing story.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 09, 2014

Below is an article  previously published in Ella Publishing's ezine. The author and designer are Stephanie Baxter

I’ve come up with a few scrapbooking layout ideas that will inspire you to share yourself more on your pages.

Scrapbook the small things

It’s often very tempting to scrapbook the big events or milestones in life, but what about the small, everyday moments? They are just as important as the big ones, since they tell a lot about your day-to-day life and what you are like as a person. I know that the pages I make about the everyday are ones I will love to look back at in years to come.

Make a layout without photos

I don’t just scrapbook as a way to display my photos, but more as a way of documenting my life and telling my story. How about you? When you want to record your thoughts and feelings about something that you don’t have a photo to go with, make a page anyway! Use tags, journaling cards, or other design elements to dress up your words and make your ideas shine.

Scrap a self-portrait

If you’re usually the one behind the camera (as I am), you may not have a lot of photos of yourself to scrapbook. If you look through my scrapbooks, I am definitely noticeably absent from many pages. If that situation sounds familiar to you, I challenge you to join me this year by taking some self-portraits at various points throughout the year and making layouts with them, like this one I made about my thoughts on the coming year.

For more autobiographical page ideas check out Stephanie's eBook, Scrapbooking Your Single Years

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 06, 2014

Say goodbye to your rulers and hello to a solution that allows you to use Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop) to build scrapbook pages in the digital method, which you'll print and piece together—using additional supplies from your stash—to create beautiful hybrid layouts. Digital sketching has been the core of Cathy's approach since her very first layout, and it's a key part of the Clean & Simple process. You'll learn how to use Photoshop Elements to plan and design pages, just like Cathy does. 

This is a very hands-on, assignment based, video-instruction driven self-paced workshop for users of Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop). Cathy will provide all instruction, both written and video, to guide you through each week. A familiarity with Photoshop Elements is helpful, but it's not required. Cathy will provide detailed step-by-step instruction for all assignments. Learn more HERE.

Self-Paced Projects are instant download classes that allow you to participate at BPC anytime! These classes are different from our interactive workshops. There are no starting or ending dates -- you may enroll at any time. This flexibility also means, that there will not be the level of teacher and student interaction that we enjoy in our workshops. You will receive handouts to print and an audio file to listen to, but there are typically no message boards or chats.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 05, 2014

 “We all want to get the most from our stamps. This project uses a quick, easy, and fun technique that anyone can try. I used the reverse side of a small round stamp (yep, the cling side!) to create the polka-dot background. Who’d have thought? These Hero Arts cling stamps have a nice, thick foam mount that’s easy to hold on to and stamp with. The three heart stamps came from the same ‘Untitled Hearts’ stamp set as my reverse polka dot!” Shari Carroll

Source: Shari Carroll in Stamping Secrets: 7 sensational stamp sets used 21 ways

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 03, 2014

“One design arrangement that I frequently use on my cards is a narrow grouping of elements. For this card, I used patterned paper, a punched border, and some letter stickers to create a vertical grouping. Then I embellished the space with a corrugated heart and a bit of ribbon, which I stapled in place. Tip: Take color cues from patterned paper. The color scheme for this card was inspired by the hexagon patterned paper, which also includes bits of red (although they’re covered by the corrugated heart).” Kristina Werner


Source: Kristina Werner in 31 Thank You Cards (co-authored by Kimber McGray and Heather Nichols).

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


June 02, 2014

Below is an article  previously published in Ella Publishing's ezine. The author and designer are Amber Daigre.

I am a cardmaker at heart—and thank-you cards are certainly at the heart of my arsenal. If you take a look at my stamps, you’ll find tons of “Thank You” sentiments that are well loved and heavily inked!

It’s a great idea to have a stash of thank you cards on hand and if possible, it’s nice to have a selection of styles and layouts to fit the occasion or the recipient.

Say it with Simple Elegance

Elegant or sophisticated thank-you cards are a wonderful staple to have, and you can save tons of money by creating your own! For my elegant  Thank You card, I used my Cricut electronic die cutting machine to cut out the letter “T,” and then I used stamps to finish off the sentiment. The beautifully ornate letter adds dimension, flair and character to this simple card. To add even more dimension, I heat embossed the stamped sentiment in gold, which injected the perfect amount of class! A card like this would be perfect as a gift set or as a note card for a thoughtful wedding gift. The muted palette of this card also makes it a great option for guys!

Go Graphic and Get Creative

Go against convention by arranging your sentiment in a new and different way! That’s exactly what I did for this graphic and colorful card. By using the negative spaces of each die cut letter, layering a colorful scrap of cardstock behind each one, I created a thank-you grid that is fun and different! Each of the squares is adhered with dimensional adhesive to add depth to the card.

Forgo the sentiment

Who says that the sentiment has to be the focal point of your thank you cards? Why not use a background stamp to convey the sentiment of your card, but add colorful embellishments as the stand out feature of your creation?

That was my thought behind this simple and colorful thank you card. In pale gray, I stamped the Hero Arts Thank You Definition background stamp, which features all sorts of language about gratitude and appreciation. For my focal point, though, I chose to paper-piece several fun flowers and add them to the bottom corner.

Embrace the White Space

I love using white space on my cards, but I’ve heard many cardmakers express some apprehension about leaving open space on their cards. For this card, I took the opportunity to demonstrate a fun way to use white space on a whimsical card.

First, I stamped the banners on an angle to fill up the majority of the top of the card. To keep the eye moving across the card, though, I continued the sentiment into the opposing corner of the card. Even with all the open white space, this thank you card looks complete and well balanced.

Find more card inspiration on Amber's blog and check out our eBook 31 Thank You Cards

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


May 29, 2014

 “Eye contact is not prerequisite to a great photo. Some of my favorite photos of my children are profile shots of them looking off into the distance. If we’re outside, I usually accomplish this by asking them to look around and try to spot something specific, like a dog or a red car, or to count how many trees they see. I love non-eye-contact photos; they evoke so much emotion. I took this photo of my son, Carson, while he sat on the lakeshore, watching his cousin kneeboard. He was so absorbed that he barely noticed me.” Rebecca Cooper

Source: Don’t Say Cheese: Capture real smiles with 247 tips for photographing kids by Rebecca Cooper.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


May 27, 2014

“I’ve been jotting down snippets of conversations in small notebooks for over 15 years. The layouts that stem from these memories are among my very favorite. I’ve found it’s much easier to find a photo to support an authentic sound bite than it is to write authentic journaling to support a photo.” Stacy Julian

Source: 20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers, a 26-page eBook from Stacy Julian and Lain Ehmann.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


« Older Posts Newer Posts »

We blog, we tweet, we pin...
join us wherever you hang out!

Or perhaps you would like blog posts sent to your email inbox?

Enter your email address:
(Don't worry, it's easy to unsubscribe from blog updates if you change your mind)
Beautiful Places New and Upcoming
Challenges News
Classes Pajama Party
Color Photo Album Scrapbooking
eBooks Photo Freedom
Events Photography
Fresh Finds Project Life
From the Archives Quotes
From the Classroom Recipe
From the Gallery Sale
Giveaways Stop Your World
Happy Mail Storytelling
How Does She Students
In the Picture Teachers
Instagram Tech Tips
Journaling Tips
Just for Fun Try This
August 2014 February 2014
July 2014 January 2014
June 2014 December 2013
May 2014 November 2013
April 2014 October 2013
March 2014 September 2013
Is your comment more of a question? Send an email to admin@bigpictureclasses.com so we don't miss it!
2006-2013 Copyright by Big Picture Classes. Please do not use any of our original photos or reprint our writing without permission. Thank you!
My Classes
My Galleries
My Forums
My Information
Badges & Buttons
Quote of the Day
Happy Mail
Big World
Technical Support
Contact Us
Meet Our Team
Visit Our Blog
Gift Certificates
Feeling Social?
YouTube channel
Blog RSS
Want info & inspiration?
Sign up for our email newsletter!

© 2005-2013 Big Picture Classes. All Rights Reserved.
Cancellation Policy | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Advertise | Technical Support
HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.