Monday, November 30, 2009

November Class Review (and a winner)

Graffiti Art Journal Cover (click to enlarge)

I took three classes during November. . . well, sort of.  I completed two and bailed on the third. It was partly my fault, but I think the class structure was also partly to blame.

1. Dina Wakley's Graffiti of My Life Art Journal Class, offered at Get it Scrapped. This class was fabulous!  I learned several new art techniques, especially working with stencils, gesso, spray inks and acrylic washes.  It also taught me a lot about how to build up layers on an art journal page.  Finally, I learned a new book binding technique.  Lots of techniques = lots of bang for the buck in my book.  In addition, I walked away with a completed art journal that I love, love, love. I love the size of it, and the feel of it in my hands.  I love paging through it, and I love the cover (pictured here).   The class did not focus on the written part of art journaling, but Dina has other classes for that, and I will take at least one of those in December. The class consisted of 8 lessons, spread over 4 weeks.  Each lesson included a thorough, illustrated PDF, and, even better, a video!  These were fun to watch and really helped me understand HOW to make the techniques work. There was also a class forum and gallery where you could ask questions and share your worker.  Priced at $45 - it was definitely worth it to me.  A winner!
Edited to add: I just found this link to the blog from a fellow classmate who put her journal to music.  If you like Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, it's awesome!  Even if you don't, it's worth clicking here.

2.  Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers.  I loved this class.  It inspired me to create this blog.  It gave me the confidence to figure out the technology.  It introduced me to many of you.  It gave me the answers to questions from what to write about to how to format it.  The class materials were superb. They began with a introductory PDF explaining all the basics about how to set up a blog and ended with an amazing booklet, "A Year of Prompts."  In between were three weeks worth of week day lessons. Each lesson covered a different potential prompt that could be used for blogging and/or scrapbooking.  Each lesson had suggestions for posts if you had 2 minutes, 30 minutes or several hours to spend on your blog. Each lesson contained an illustrated PDF, written in Shimelle's clear, insightful language. Plus, there was an online forum to discuss issues, form friendships and get even more questions answered.  Truly an invaluable class for any scrapbooker or artist who has a blog or is considering starting a blog. The most amazing thing. . . the whole class only cost $15!  I have no idea how Shimelle manages to price her classes so reasonably, but she always does.

3. Jessica Sprague's Holidays in Hand. This class left me confused and a little frustrated. It was a seven day class, which, I think, should lead you to complete a series of prompt cards to help guide your holiday activities and an album in which to feature your holiday activities.  I say "I think" because the purpose of the class and what you were supposed to do each day was never really very well explained . . . at least to me. Sorry, I just didn't get it.  Now, part of it may be my problem because Jessica Sprague's site and classes are definitely geared to digital or hybrid scrappers, and I'm not either.  The class included a bunch of free downloads, which others really seemed to appreciate.  Also, to be fair, I could have given it more of a chance, but I bailed when I couldn't see the big picture.  The other thing I should mention is that it was free!  It was a good way to see if Jessica's style fits yours, and, I learned that, for me, it's not a good fit.

I'd love to hear what other people thought of classes they took in November.

OH, I almost forgot . . . the winner of the Christmas ATC's is Jacky!  Jacky, email me your address (to rinda1961 at yahoo dot com), and I'll drop your prize in the mail.  By the way, I made two of the ATC's.  I made the Angel and the Santa.  By the way, Jacky was the only one who got two entries in the drawing by correctly guessing the "A" was mine.  To all who guessed Reindeer and Madonna, those are very much in my style.  For those who want to know what an ATC is, check back later this week.  I'm planning a post about them!


scrappyjacky said... so pleased to have won....thanks so much.
I found Shimelle's class invaluable as are all her classes....and I love that I've found lots of brilliant of brilliant new blogs to visit.

The Scrappy Tree said...

Congrats Jacky!
Thanks Rinda for the class review, found it really interesting and would love to take one of those art journalling classes. You never know what things will be like online, so it's good to get recommendations.
Also, yay for Shimelle's class! Great class and great people :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so beautiful. I had no idea that you just started it. I loved Shimelle's class as well, and found your blog as one of the many side benefits. I have taken a couple of classes at Get It Scrapped with mixed results. I agree that Holidays in Hand could be a bit disappointing, but I printed out all the prompts for December and set them in a simple easel. I'll be looking at them as I create this year's Christmas Journal. I have taken many classes with Jessica and learned so much. I'm not a digital scrapbooker either but taking a couple of her courses really taught me how to use Photoshop Elements much more effectively. Her videos are top-notch--some of the best in the business. Once you've taken a class you can go back and view them any time. There's so well-organized that you can view them by topic. I'm signed up for her Wacom Tablet course in January. My husband gave me one for my birthday in May and it's still in the box! Anyway, if there's some topic that interests you there, she's worth a second try!

Lizzie said...

Rinda, it's been great doing Shimelle's course and getting to know people like yourself and other lovely bloggers!

Thank you for posting your course reviews - interesting and maybe helpful to me in the future.

I did like those ATC's - glad that I at least got close in terms of "style" even if I got the answer wrong! How funny that only one person got the correct ATC... I hope you were not upset about that!

Congratulations to Jacky!

humel said...

Many congrats, Jacky :-) And I don't feel like I was too far off lol - Angel was my second choice!

You know, I felt a bit disappointed with the Jessica Sprague class, but wasn't sure why. I think it's for the reasons you give above :-) I've printed off the prompts though and if I need anything extra through December (if JYC and December Daily aren't enough!!) I shall refer to them then.

Looking forward to those 12 Tags too :-)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed Shimelle's class do and found lots of lovely new blogs - yours included! Not sure about Jessica's but I have printed off the prompts and might include some of the quotes and ideas in my JYC as I have done Shimelle's class for several years running.

Jane said...

I loved Shimelles class too, and gained (continue to gain) a lot from it.

I couldn't agree with you MORE about Jessica Spragues class - I too remain totally puzzled as to the point behind it! I was terribly disappointed by it! I took a class by her a year or two ago and LOVED it - it was full of prompts and ideas for journaling - this time I was totally confused!

I'm loving your blog!

helena said...

Totally agree with you about Shimelle and Jessica - loved the first and found the second confusing. I agree that the lack of the big picture was part of the problem for me and also many of the prompts assume you have family around you and as a single person that makes me feel excluded. thansk for posting some honest reviews - good and bad

Deana Birks said...

I loved Shimelle's class, too. I'd take it again in a heartbeat. I also didn't finish Jessica's class; after the first day, I just let the emails pile up in my inbox. I'm going to take another class of hers in the future, probably, because I know zero about digital scrapbooking.

Cate Brickell said...

I think "stories in hand" was such a resounding success for Jessica last year, and every thought with a name like "holidays in hand" we were going to get more of the same... but it was (and still is) very unclear from the start that we would be creating *another* December album... personally, I think I'll just stick to JYC in the hopes that one year I will *complete* and album

and "blogging with scrapbookers" rocked! I always knew the connection was there, but wasn't quite getting it... I didn't craft pages, but now have the foundations to do it - and lots more people reading my blog!

Christy said...

Congratulations, Jacky!
I also loved Shimelle's class. I didn't take Jessica's class, and I thought about the journaling class at Get It Scrapped. Glad to read your review...maybe I'll take it later. I've loved meeting all the wonderful ladies thru Shimelle's, and reading their blogs...your's included. :)

Sian said...

Congratulations Jacky!

Excellent, honest reviews Rinda. I loved every minute of Shimelle's class too. I took the first of Dina's Art Journaling classes and loved it as well..her videos are a joy to watch and I keep meaning to go back and do another one. Get It Scrapped classes were the first ones I ever did.

Carrie said...

Your journal class looks like it was fun. Too bad on Jessica's class, maybe next time. Always go back & look again! :)

chrisg said...

Hi Rinda

I also took Dina's class and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your finished journal looks stunning. Congratulations

Anonymous said...

I loved Shimelle's class too, and found it really useful and inspiring.
Your blog is full of such beautiful artwork. I'm glad I stopped by to look out your review of the class.