A friend of mine did a "Study of the Masters" for a few months earlier this year. Her goal was to choose layouts done by the "experts" in the field and copy their design so she could learn about design better. Her style and knowledge evolved and she was very happy with the process. When I heard of her doing it and then seeing her layouts, I knew that this is something I should be doing also.
Though I'm not going to do it for every layout, I have started with my own version of studying the masters. I lifted this layout from Laura Vegas from CK's Tips & Tricks Tools and Techniques 2010 magazine.
And here is my version. I wish I had more patterned paper that I could have used with this because I think the thicker strip would have looked better with a pattern. But that's what you get when you are limited in your paper purchasing - you make do with what you've got. I also think the journalling would have looked better with a stamped shape around it but I don't have that either. I suppose I could have drawn it in myself but I didn't think of that before I started writing. lol