Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!

Clipped Art

As silly as it may sound, I have what might be considered a secret love affair with kraft paper. There. It’s not so secret anymore. Actually several of my creative friends and family members already know this about me. In fact, even my 2016 journal and wall calendar are printed on kraft paper.

I also have a not so secret love for Real Simple magazine. Each month I anxiously await its arrival and then I dive right in. Turning the pages slowly I sift through the contents, reading most of the articles and savoring all of the images. Never ever would I consider throwing one of these magazines in the trash or the recycling container. That is until I’ve had a chance to go through it to rip or cut out and save some of the worth-saving images or pages. On a day when I take the time or I’m in the mood to get creative with images and words cut from magazines, Real Simple is my favorite go-to grab. Time spent getting lost in this clipped art activity is like therapy for me and it almost feels like a little taste of Heaven.

Last week nestled among an assortment of notebooks in a basket I keep in my studio, I found a kraft journal that I’d forgotten all about. I was looking for something else. I didn’t find the something else. On the back of the journal cover was the stamped name, Paperchase. While I’m not sure of when exactly I added to its pages, a few of my handwritten notes list several dates in 2012.

It was so much fun to open this book and find some of the waiting words and lovely images that still inspired me and gave me pause. Months or years ago I’d created these pages and now months and years later while browsing them, I enjoyed quiet moments of reflection and a sort of simple satisfaction too.

In one of the pages from this journal, I realize if I was to find either of these photo images today, I would still cut them out. The window still beckons and the leaves in all their assorted shades of green loveliness still whisper to my spirit. I’m so in grateful awe of all the beauty and wonder in the world. And to be Lovely on the Inside – now that’s a beautiful thought too.

Lovely on the Inside

Not all of my clippings or cutout words come from Real Simple. I’ve enjoyed many splendid creative moments with Martha Stewart’s Living, O Magazine, Paper Source, Pottery Barn, and other assorted catalogs and magazines, especially ones with a higher quality paper. The rectangular cutouts below were actually images of rugs from a catalog. I like the different patterns and how they’re arranged on the page.

Textured Rug Patterns

Sometimes it’s the colors or textures that grab my attention. As I turned the pages on this journal, my eyes enjoyed taking in all there was to see, including these fabric samples, the small stones and the patterned eggs, and the square tiles on this page. There’s something about these earth tone colors and images that I find calming and even a little bit nostalgic (Cheerios).

Natural Instincts

Sometimes in stressful moments, getting out my scissors or tape is the perfect stress reliever. In those moments, I have no problem finding my inner child. I also sometimes need and always appreciate gentle reminders and nudges, like: BE PRESENT. So as I type this post I stop and pause. I want to be truly present to this moment, to all my moments. Always.

Then I imagine the smell of the lilacs in the clay pot next to the waiting books, the dewy feel of the soft hydrangea blossoms, the happy sound of birds singing outside the sundrenched window, and most definitely the sweet taste of the freshly picked blueberries. In fact, I want some now.

Be Present

All kinds of things make me weak in the knees. Sunflowers and No.2 yellow pencils and a pair of sassy Keds – now what’s there not to love? To me, it’s Real Simple.

Real Simple

There is something about real honest to goodness corks that I love. I happen to have a collection of them saved for a future craft project of which is yet to be determined. Months ago, I watched a CBS Sunday Morning program about cork trees and the history of corks and it made me appreciate them even more.

Now drop some corks into an old vintage canning jar just like the ones my grandmother used (when they weren’t considered vintage) and there’s a story begging to be told. I think of all the celebrations and candlelit dinners and special moments where corks were popped and bottles of wine or champagne were consumed.

Oh corks, you had me at hello.

Times to Celebrate

More leftover corks. More empty canning jars. More words. All definitely golden in my book. The blue and white striped background was cut out from the inside of an envelope. I’m a fan of envelopes too.

Your Words

Some soft pastel dishes and random chairs from a Pottery Barn catalog that caught my eye. Often I add handwritten thoughts or words around the edges of the images or even along the page margins. Only not today. Maybe someday.

Scattered Chairs of Color

Seven falling sweaters remind me of seven sisters and little squares of pastel tumbling down the page have no hidden meaning at all. But, the thought of freshly squeezed lemonade and a perspiring jug of what looks like cucumber infused water makes my mouth water. I want some.

Falling Sweaters

Sweet Serendipity. I so love the word and its meaning. I love the movie by the same name and the frozen hot chocolate restaurant in New York City. This is a rather random and hodgepodge page; but I still really like it. I reflect on the words and appreciate the nudge to LIVE YOUR (my) BEST LIFE…in every way…every day. The clock is ticking.

Sweet Serendipity

So here’s the deal. I’m not sure why, but I distinctly remember cutting out and arranging this page: the happy gingham checked sneakers and festive decorated eggs with the folded cloth napkins, as well as the scale weighing nothing at all. The old much-traveled leather suitcase makes me want to pack my bags and go somewhere! How about Phoenix? I happen to HEART Phoenix too. Anticipation indeed!


Several Real Simple magazines are again waiting in the wings. Whenever I see them, they tease and beckon me to ooh and ahh and cut and paste… and I already can’t wait to dive in on some future rainy day at home… or maybe just maybe sometime later today. Stay tuned.

My Kraft-ing Tools


6 comments on “Clipped Art

  1. Diane Scheurell
    June 4, 2016

    Susan, you are so creative. I love what you have done with these pages and what you have done with this essay – double creativity. I love to cut out images too, but I haven’t taken the next step of putting them in a notebook. Mostly I’ve used them for Vision Boards. But why not a whole notebook of tiny visions? I might have to subscribe to some magazines…

    • spencedaniel
      June 8, 2016

      Diane, I use magazines for vision boards too and always manage to have a stash of saved pages and images and words. Happy subscribing and thanks for the kind words.

  2. Hilary
    June 9, 2016

    I love your appreciation of the simple things and the way you can lay all these cut out pieces of paper together to create something totally new. You are so creative.

    • spencedaniel
      June 10, 2016

      Hilary, thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to share them with me. I’m always grateful.

  3. Ann Spence
    June 28, 2018

    I’ve been greatly enjoying reading along. It comes pretty close to spending time with you, at least these days. Always a pleasure to hear your heart. Love & miss you, Ann 😘❌⭕️

    • spencedaniel
      June 28, 2018

      Sweet Ann, thank you for your words and your love. I feel the same way about you. Always.

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