This looks like a great challenge! Just a couple questions.
I do 12x12 LO's but is it okay if the "large photo" is slightly smaller then what they recommend? Also, I've never done any sewing in my books. Do I sew the pictures/paper then put on the page?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but to answer the questions, you don't have to follow the sketch exactly. The idea is to just use it as a base for your pages, so yes you can adjust the picture size and yes you can replace the flowers with buttons. As for the stitching, you could replace that with a ribbon if you prefer, or actually stitch in the page. The paper ladies would be more helpful on how this is done.
Exactly what Stephanie said. The pictures don't have to be the exact same size, but try to keep a similar proportion with the smaller pictures. The flowers are meant to show that's where you put an embellishment, and the patterned paper can be of any pattern. Same with the stitching - stitching, ribbon, a strip of different paper. Make it your own, that's what's cool about the sketch, it's just to give you an idea. What's neat is seeing how everyone does something different with it at the end of the month.