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I’m taking the self-paced workshop The Ties That Bind taught by Stephanie Howell c/o Big Picture Classes and I’m going to share the first few things I’ve made inspired by the class!

My thoughts on the class in general: it’s not assignment based, it’s more about having a perspective shift about the importance of documenting relationships and the types of relationships you can document. Some of the types of relationships I wouldn’t have thought of on my own, and that’s what I’m really looking for from classes: motivation and new ideas. There are some bonuses in the class, such as the sketches and instructions on putting together layouts, that I probably won’t use, but the main content of the class was really great for me.

And in case you didn’t know, self-paced classes are different than workshops; there’s not a lot of student or teacher interaction, it’s more about the information. There’s still a private gallery to share images, but I look at it more like getting a media-infused book than a workshop.

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One of the things I want to focus on in documenting relationships is the evolution of Jonas’s and Eliza’s relationship. I show a lot of them doing things together in my Project Life and I have some great documentation on how they’ve interacted, but I don’t have a lot about their relationship on the whole.

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I decided to start at the beginning with the first time they met. I had a lot of the story already in this blog post. I’m so thankful that I captured those details as I went!

Eliza didn’t get to meet Jonas the night he was born because she had a bit of a cold. She didn’t want to wear the scratchy face mask until we told her she looks like Shredder from Ninja Turtles (then it was cooler). She spent the night with grandparents & made cool candy necklaces. Eliza thought Jonas looked “SO CUTE!” She just wants to snuggle him all of the time. She was worried about how sick I looked, though.

This page is going in my 2010 scrapbook, which is a mix of traditional pages and pocketed page protectors. Project Life isn’t just for the weekly format!

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I hand-cut part of the title. I decided on handwriting and considered writing it, scanning it, and cutting it with the Silhouette (or trying to battle our Bamboo Tablet which is Jake’s thing and not mine). I wrote on a light patterned paper with a White Chalk Marker, which you can only really see under direct light. I held it close to a lamp as I cut around the words I wrote and now the marks are pretty much invisible!

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I also LOVE that I still have the “Shredder” mask Eliza wore to the hospital.

I’m considering this layout the first in a big ‘ole series of Eliza + Jonas layouts. I’m also hoping to document more about what’s special between other members of our family and more stories about our extended family. Loving that the class is giving me a kick in the butt!

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Another thing that I’m documenting is my relationship with time. This is going into Week 11 of Project Life.

(Can you believe that I had NO embellishments with clocks on them? I used a Circle Punch to make this one.)

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This journaling is about the paradox of mom time.

Time as a mom is a strange thing. When I play with the kids, time flies. When I’m tired, nap time is oh so short. When I’m stressed, it seems like the time before Jake comes home & picks up 1/2 the parenting will never come. But even though I sometimes wish time would fast forward so I can rest, work, or relax, TIME GOES BY TOO FAST. I can’t look at pictures of E from a few years ago without welling up. She’s getting so independent! And Jonas is so far from babyhood. My time as a mother of children is too short.

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Lastly, I worked on documenting Jake’s and my romantic relationship. We celebrated the 9th anniversary of our first date last week, and I documented our anniversary date and reflected a bit on our first date for a Project Life insert.

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9 years ago we were nervous teenagers on a first date. Then we were laughing together at Secret Window, now it’s Identity Thief. Life together is so built into who I am that it seems like forever, but 9 years seems like such a long time still! This week we celebrated the 9th anniversary of our first date. We dropped the kids off with Granny-ma & went to see a movie. We used free tickets from Jake’s boss’s boss’s boss & ate Subway before, which is so us: pragmatic. It’s about the time together, not the $.

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I’m still waiting on a photo from last week to get here. I’m going to put it in the top right spot. So this work is technically in progress. I’m excited about the then / now comparison, because the photo on the bottom is from 2004. Well, it’s actually a photo of a photo. It’s from Jake’s and my Poem Book.

The “Love is the Answer” card is by my friend Kim at Art Equals Happy.


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I’m taking The Ties That Bind taught by Stephanie Howell c/o Big Picture Classes. This is a self-paced class with “5 Ways to Document Your Most Important Relationships,” including downloads and sketches, a narrated slideshow, and more! The class is $10. We are BPC affiliates, so if you take this or any other class at Big Picture, use these links to support the Nerd Nest!


Supplies Used: Paper: Studio Calico Project Life Grab Bag, Baby Project Life Kit, Project Life Seafoam Kit. Love is the Answer by Art Equals Happy, Hello by Amy Tangerine from Yes, Please; Stickers: American Crafts; Pen: Zig 0.8mm Millennium Marker, Zig 0.1mm Millennium Marker, White Chalk Marker; Page Protectors: Project Life Design A, Project Life Small Variety Pack 1; Tools: EK Success 1-1/4-Inch Circle Punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, EK Success Honey Bee Non-Stick Craft Scissors, exato knife; Printer: HP Photosmart 7510; Photo Paper: Office Max.

We are Amazon, Simple Scrapper, and Two Peas in a Bucket affiliates. Purchasing through these links supports the Nerd Nest!


What relationships do you need to document?