Posts Tagged ‘Big Picture Scrapbooking’

Are things looking up?  With the recession and all that comes with it, it is challenging to keep your head afloat, much less maintain a positive attitude.  I had yet another friend let me know that she is looking for work to combat these tough economic times.  I find it discouraging in my business to continually have to work harder for less.  Everyone is pinching pennies, tightening their belts, and making ends meet.

I’m taking a photography workshop at Big Picture Scrapbooking called “Picture Spring” by Tracey Clark of shuttersisters.com.  More than technique, it is simply a workshop of great inspiration as we attempt to capture spring in a new, beautiful way.  As I was prompted by Tracey to “Look Up” and photograph the sky, I was able to capture this physical reminder from nature itself that there is always blue sky, even among the clouds.

How are things looking up for you?  Maybe your circumstances have remained unchanged.  Maybe your financial situation is not as rosy as you would like.  Maybe you are dealing with family issues, health concerns, or just juggling daily life.  Many times these adversities cause us to shrink into ourselves, keeping our eyes down with exhaustion, concern and even fear.

But hope is the warrior against fear.  The strong, immovable sense of being that overcomes adversity and helps us see the blue sky peeking out from around the clouds and feel a little warmth of sunshine on our faces.  Look up, my friends!  Look up!  What do you see?

Read Full Post »

I am so glad that I did the Cathy Zielske workshop giveaway this week.  I have loved reading your comments.  They are diverse and random – just like the project as a whole.  I kept thinking that every journal entry idea that you posted is the perfect thing to be writing about…and that’s the point of the “Me: the Abridged Version” project.  Anything goes.  Whatever is important or interesting to you in any way is what should be included.  Thank you for your comments and your excitement for the class.  I encourage you to use your nickles and dimes and take this workshop with Cathy and then let us know how it goes.

I thought I would share an actual journal entry from my album today but first I’ll tell you the lucky duck winner of the spot in Cathy’s class.


#87: Stephanie

I really feel like I need this class at this point in my life. It’s so crazy busy and I don’t want to forget a moment of it! My letter would be B for Balance. I’m 35 and trying to balance my 4 kids, my church work, working a job and supporting a husband. I love it all, but it’s a balancing act. Thanks for inspiring me! I can’t wait out to get my inspiration notebook and start writing down the letters and ideas that come!

Stephanie, send me your full name and email address (kolette@kolettehall.com) and I’ll pass it along to Kayce at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  She’ll put you in the class!

Now here is an entry from my album.  I chose this one because it is a topic that is totally trivial and random but is something unique about me.  I also chose it to show you how the title of your journaling entries can be creative and interesting – not just using what might be obvious.  Think of the title as being a way to entice the reader to keep reading just to find out what you mean.  So here you go – a journal entry from the Letter “B.”

B: Back-talking

I talk to the radio.  You know how the DJ offers you information, asks rhetorical questions, and tries to make listening interesting during the workday?  When I am focused on my work – especially designing something or working on a project – I listen to the DJ like he is my low-maintenance friend there to keep me company.  I don’t have to look at him, I can stay focused on my project and no one gets offended.  As I listen, I find myself making comments of my own – out loud – when I have something to say regarding what I am hearing.  Kent and Chris (my co-workers when I owned my company at the time I wrote this) wonder why I suddenly burst out with a random comment – thinking that it was directed at them.  No, I assure them.  I was just talking to the radio.  Hmmm….they wonder as they slowly go back to their own tasks.  Hmmm….is right, Kolette.

See?  Random.  Trivial.  But oh so meaningful as a way to shed light on the real me.  I’m so glad I have stuff like this written down.

Enjoy the journey of writing “Me: the Abridged Version.”

Read Full Post »


One of my all-time favorite scrapbooking projects that I have done was actually shown to me by its creator, Cathy Zielske.  The year was 2006 and Cathy and I were both teaching classes at CKU (Creating Keepsakes University).  Cathy’s class was called “Encyclopedia of My Ordinary Life” and was inspired by the book with the same title.  Even though I was teaching my own classes at the same time, Cathy’s project intrigued me.  The idea was that you would take each letter of the alphabet and write two different journaling segments that started with each letter.  Paired with a photo that represented each segment, the album showcased different snapshots of your life through these random journal entries.

The project itself was simple – with each page’s format the same as she devoted one page to each letter of the alphabet.  The hard part about this project was the writing.   There was so much of it.  Story after story, paragraph after paragraph, thought after thought about different, random aspects of your life was the meat of it all and the primary focus of this project.  The photos were almost an afterthought, giving way to the words and thoughts you had instead.

It was a daunting task to decide to tackle all of that journaling during a busy time in my life but I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head.  I really wanted to do this project and it seemed like it was all I could think about.  Since I would be teaching classes myself I had to do this project on my own.  After talking with Cathy about how the album was put together I sat down with a notepad and listed each letter of the alphabet down the margin, leaving two spaces for each letter.  I then began to fill in the blanks with titles of stories and thoughts that I wanted to write about.

I carried this notepad around with me and as new ideas came to me I would find a place for each one on my list.  As I continued, sometimes I would change the title of one thought in order to move it to another letter, leaving room for something better in its place.  Then I started to write the actual journaling segments.  Some were long.  Some were short.  Some were serious.  Some were funny.  Some were life-changing and others were seemingly insignificant memories that are a part of who I am.

I became obsessed.  I couldn’t help myself.  I just kept writing and writing and writing.  I would be doing my hair in the morning or watching television or folding the laundry when a story would come to me and I would grab my notepad and start writing.  Page after page of journaling began to accumulate in my notepad until I had 52 memories written – two segments per letter of the alphabet.

letter c

Then, of course, I gathered the photos for each segment and scrapbooked the album itself.  What I ended up with is the most amazing compilation of my life that I have ever created.  The simple thoughts, the huge memories, the empowering moments and even some tragic trials.  A variety of topics that create a tapestry of who I am, what I think about, what’s important to me and where I am headed.  It is truly an encyclopedia of my ordinary – yet, oh so extraordinary – life.

Thank you, Cathy, for developing this project and now offering it through Big Picture Scrapbooking.  It’s a new look but the same idea and is called “Me: the Abridged Version.” I can’t wait for a whole new batch of scrapbookers to experience the journey that compiling this project will become for them.  The format of the project is very simple so even if you have never done a scrapbooking project in your life, consider this being the first one.  Let Cathy guide you on a fun but meaningful quest to record your life.  Take the challenge.  Sign up now and dedicate yourself to writing about your life.  You won’t be sorry that you did.

Me logo

And just to make it even more enticing, I am actually giving away a seat in Cathy’s upcoming workshop so you have the chance to learn how to do this album from Cathy for free!  To win, write a comment here about what one of your journal entries would be called and a quick phrase of what it would be about.  See, I’m getting you started already!

Take this class and experience the journey that Cathy has in store for you.  I hope you love this project as much as I do and that you find parts of yourself that you didn’t even realize were in you.  This may be patterned after the book “An Encyclopedia of My Ordinary Life” but once you finish you’ll find that it is anything but ordinary – rather extraordinary instead.


Read Full Post »

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to Jason – the first-time dad at our house!  He’s a natural in every sense of the word and Coleman is a lucky little munchkin to have him as his father (including his ability to think up crazy stunts and tricks involving children – like only a dad can do).  Thanks for all you do and are, Jas.  XOXO


I had a great week last week.  I feel fabulous and totally like my old self again – wait, maybe not like my old self because I have learned a lot of things having to deal with a month of postpartum issues.  So, I would say that I’m better than my old self.  I appreciate the encouragement – that makes such a difference when we are going through challenges in our lives.  Thank you.

With this in mind, I decided to pat myself on my back for getting through my postpartum fairly unscathed.  We all need to remember to celebrate our victories – no matter their size or scope of impact.  Consider putting this quote from our Big Picture Scrapbooking workshop “A Life Well Crafted” in a place that will remind you to pay attention to each triumph in your life, even if that means simply making it through another day.  And remember: when you print – unmark the “fit to page” setting to get the actual size of the image instead of a full-page version.

please click on image to download pdf

please click on image to download pdf

I’m back.  Healed, more aware of who I am and what I can do but all in all, better than ever before.  I can’t explain the gratitude I feel for being able to spot the signs of postpartum so quickly – within days, in fact.  By doing so I was able to change direction almost immediately and head back to the real me much faster than if I had let things linger.  I’m so grateful for that.

Thanks everyone!  Enjoy the download and take a minute to pat yourself on your back with me – and celebrate you!

Read Full Post »

I would find it uncomfortable to live in a world where I had no person to thank – Rosamunde Pilcher, Winter Solstice

I am relishing my decision to approach Project 365, where I take a photo each day for a year, with gratitude in mind.  Sometimes we choose to do things that really matter and for me, this is one of those times.

I know I said I was going to start on January 4 but I got thinking about it the week before and became too eager to wait.  I had things I wanted to document from that week and I refused to let the calendar dictate when I could start recording.  So I pulled out my camera, found a little notepad for the journaling notes I wanted to make each day, set up an album in iPhoto and started Project 365.

It’s true that I had to backtrack just a couple of days to create a full first week but there were things I wanted to document so it didn’t bother me.  Now I am on track, taking a photo each day and loving the opportunity to truly “notice” what I am grateful for each day.

Elizabeth Dillow (a fabulous influence in the scrapbooking industry and teacher of the totally unique workshop at Big Picture Scrapbooking called “Red Letter Days” – click here to register) commented here about her experience with Project 365:

I just finished Project 365 (+1). It was completely, utterly worthwhile even though there were days I didn’t feel like taking a picture. Funny thing is, looking back I can only identify a couple of those days after the fact. My only piece of advice: give yourself permission to take a few passes (I made my magic number of passes = 3) in case you absolutely just can’t get a picture taken.

Great advice, Elizabeth – it brings me to a point I want to make about my personal philosophy of Project 365.  I believe more in the spirit of the law than the letter of the law when it comes to what goes into my album.  I am focused on recording the “essence” of our life during the course of a year.  That means if I want to document two things that happen on the same day – I probably will.  If the date doesn’t really matter, I might even say that one happened one day and the other on the next day.  I’m OK with that.  It is more important to me to capture the most meaningful parts of who we are than to worry about the actual day they happened on.

That is why I didn’t get hung up on having to go back 3 days once I decided to start last week.   It’s OK if you don’t feel the same way that I do about Project 365.  It’s OK if you want to make sure that every day uses a photo from that actual day.  Whatever way you decide to approach this project is the best way for you.  Embrace it and love it but if you are feeling pressure about taking a photo a day – just know that you have a friend in your corner telling you that you can use one from tomorrow or as Elizabeth suggests – give yourself permission to just skip that day.

I posted a couple of my Project 365 of Gratitude photos in my last entry.  Here are a few more of my photos from the last week and a half.  No, I don’t have Becky’s kit yet (although I think once the dust settled that I actually ended up with one) but I decided that you don’t have to have the kit to do the project.  I have a file started for printed photos and journaling notes and now I am on my way.

December 29 - I love keeping the lights on during the day

December 29 - I am grateful for the joy that keeping the lights on during the day brings me

December 30 - I'm grateful I have plenty of work - including a new cartridge for the Cricut

December 30 - I'm grateful I have plenty of work - including a new cartridge for the Cricut

December 31 - We love going to movies so we snuck one in before we won't have that luxury any more

December 31 - We love going to movies so we snuck one in before we won't have that luxury any more

January 1 - I am grateful for the excitement around our new BPS workshop "A Life Well Crafted" that started today

January 1 - I am grateful for the excitement around our new BPS workshop "A Life Well Crafted" that started today

January 2 - My dear friend Jeana is making a quilt for Cole.  She's been with me through thick & thin.

January 2 - My dear friend Jeana is making a quilt for Cole. She's been with me through thick & thin.

January 4 - I am grateful for the encouragement given to me by our church leader to be a "woman of stature and faith"

January 4 - I am grateful for the encouragement given to me by our church leader to be a "woman of stature and faith"

I am grateful for this opportunity to pay closer attention to the things that are meaningful in our lives.  I am grateful for these pieces and parts that will eventually make up a compilation of who we are, what we care about and how we are growing and becoming our best selves.

Read Full Post »

Christmas is coming but I’m going to let you peek at this gift to yourself!  Here is a look at January’s project for our Big Picture Scrapbooking workshop “A Life Well Crafted” that is open for registration.  Click here to join us either by taking the “full-year” 20% off offer or registering month to month.  Either way you’ll love it.

By the way – those of you who took Giving Well – this first project in January makes a totally fabulous gift.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

attribute book

attribute book 2

And here is a peek at my Life Tunes “layout of the month” for January using the fabulous Maya Road “Sheer Office Notes” as the journaling spot and Bo Bunny “My Word Arrow Book” as the page background.

Life Tunes

For those of you who just want the “message” each month along with quotes, etc. then just take the “Audio-Only” version and bypass all the craftiness.

Jason and I do the messages and chats together – to learn more about him just click here to visit his blog.  It’s funny, inspirational and I guarantee it’s one you’ll want to pass on to others.

See you in class!

Read Full Post »

I always get excited at the beginning of a new Big Picture Scrapbooking workshop and my “Giving Well 2008” class is the one that I really can’t wait for.  It is so fast-paced with projects every other day and ideas flying around the message board and gallery.  The energy is high and I just love being a part of it.

That, coupled with the change of season when the air is crisper and the colors so vibrant, means I love fall – especially here in Utah with the gorgeous change of seasons that we have tucked here along these mountains.  We truly live in a beautiful place.

I’m always fascinated by the variation in the changes that happen on the trees.  We planted three maple trees this year.  They are the same age, were planted at the same time and in the general same area of the yard.  But two of the trees started turning color about a month ago while one tree is just barely making its change.

It makes me wonder.  This seems so typical of us as humans – some of us are ready to make the quick change and we can’t wait to turn a new color.  Others take things more slowly and turn when they are good and ready.

I think I fall into the second category.  I’m a watcher.  I like to assess the situation before diving in.  It can be both positive and negative – I am good at thinking things through and making wise choices but at the same time, I think my hesitation keeps me from embracing life like I could if I were more adventurous.

Jason is a leaper – he loves life and is ready to grab hold with both arms.  I have learned a lot from him about this and I think it has helped me to become more comfortable with spontaneity as life goes on.  I want to be balanced – a good thinker and watcher but also able to enjoy the moment.  To me, that’s perfection.

Now, in the spirit of giving, Kristi has won our two products for our Giving Well class!  Congrats, Kristi and just email me (kolette@kolettehall.com) with your address and I’ll send out those items to you.

44 Kristi

Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment – we are loving “Giving Well 2008” already and welcome you to join us!  The workshop lasts 4 weeks so hop on board – the time is perfect to have you be a part of our group!  Click here to register.

Enjoy your weekend!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »