Friday, April 2, 2010

March Class Review

Who am I? (collage)

I took two classes this month: Shimelle's Something From (almost) Nothing and Connie Andrew's Collage Challenge Class.  I'll start with Shimelle's class, although my comments may not make me too popular.  And I welcome alternate opinions.

Shimelle's class was designed to get you to use up scrapbook supplies from your stash and to create pages.  I enjoyed it, and I definitely got my money's worth.  I think the basic structure was good, and there were some wonderful ideas for ways to use up supplies like ribbon, metal and alphabet stickers. Also, it helped me realize that there are some things I will never use.  I'm going to be getting those out of my stash and into the donation pile!  On the other hand, there were a few disappointments in the class.  For instance, I would have preferred for there to be a more definite theme and journaling prompts for for the optional album. I am happy with the album I made (especially because it was just sitting in my stash), but Shimelle is such a journaling guru that I would have loved to have gotten a bit more in that regard.  Second, I thought that a couple of the prompts were not that innovative.  For instance, the flower and chipboard prompts didn't seem to offer many new ideas. The page protector prompt was also a little odd to me  because I don't generally want to "use up" my page protectors.  Luckily, I did find some off-size page protectors that I wanted to use up and have found them very useful for holding newspaper clippings and other memorabilia. Finally, the class did not go as scheduled.  Shimelle added a few "inspiration" posts, featuring classmates' blogs, and challenges.  These were additional, not in lieu of the regular prompts, but they did change the timing of things a bit.  I really loved and enjoyed the challenges.  To me, they were a definite, unexpected value-added.  On the other hand, I found the inspirational posts less interesting. While I like a class to run on the advertised schedule, I'm willing to put up with a little slide in the schedule (especially in exchange for an added value like the challenges).  However, I find the slide in the schedule for this class to have become long enough to be annoying.  The final post is now scheduled to come on Monday (almost a week late in a class that was originally scheduled to only go three weeks).  On the whole, I give the class a thumbs up because it was unbelievably inexpensive to begin with; however, I don't think it was up to Shimelle's usual high standards.

Connie's class was a terrific experience.  Like everyone else, I arrived at class with only brushes and a pair of scissors. The goal was to make a collage by the end of the three hour class, using materials and a theme provided by Connie.  She gave each of us an 8x10 canvas and told us that the theme of the collage was "Alice in Wonderland."  She then passed around images and phrases for us to use as a starting point.  After that, we were free to create whatever we wanted, using the huge array of paints, acrylic mediums, and collage supplies she brought with her.  Everyone jumped right in and created terrific pieces.  You can see them all at her blog here.  I loved the opportunity to create without having to haul out all my stuff, and I was thrilled with the collage I created.  My collage is up top, and it features photographs that Lewis Carroll took of the girl for whom he created the Alice in Wonderland stories.  The journaling, taken from the book, reads "Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!  I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I'm not myself you see."  The background is textured gel medium, painted with acrylic paints.  It was really interesting to create a completed collage in three hours.  It taught me a lot about what I can do, and I'm thankful for the experience.  I'll definitely take her next collage challenge class!


Abi said...

Hi rinda!

I've only done one of Shimelle's classes so really can't comment but I see where u r coming from! Have loved catching up on your blog, Especially love the owl painting a few posts below! xxx

Elizabeth said...

Rinda, thanks for your review of Shimelle's recent class on using up your stash. I have taken a few of Shimelle's classes and generally been pleased but there has been disappointments such as you describe. Guess it's hard to bat 1000 every time.

As for your collage, you are so very talented! I like this one best of all the ones you've shared with us. It is like a look into who the real Alice is. Thanks for all the sharing you do.

Sian said...

Fabulous collage Rinda: I think it's one of my very favourite of your pieces. It sounds like a wonderful class.

I'm tending to agree with you on the schedule of Shimelle's class. Pushing things forward has left me unable to participate the way I had planned to because of the holiday.

Julie Shoemaker said...

and I love that collage piece too! You are fortunate to have access to so many classes Rinda.

scrappyjacky said...

Rinda...if we all had the same opinions...the world would be a boring place!!
I have actually loved Shimelle's class.....I have far too much stash...and I am now actually using it...and not looking at new stuff at all....I'm thinking about scrapping in a whole different way...and have been inspired by the prompts and so many of the class LOs. I'm delighted Shimelle has now planned more events for this class....I think even she was surprised by the massive interest in it.
I'm not worried by it going off schedule a bit...and as it was aimed at 'busting your stash' I'm not surprised or worried that there was little in the way of journaling prompts.Have loved the challenges...even if I haven't yet managed to do them all...filed for the future.
I do agree about the protector prompt...which I ignored...the only protectors I have are needed for their original purpose!!
And I definately feel the same about the inspiration prompts...I look at the forum frequently...even if I don't always see everybody's work on there...and I was very disappointed to open the Friday prompt to find it wasn't a prompt!!
Your collage class sounds wonderful...and love what you have wonder you're thrilled.

sharyncarlson said...

Thanks for your reviews! I definitely have to second your opinion on wanting more in terms of journaling direction from Something from Almost Nothing. I would have appreciated topic ideas and more specific prompts on the content of the page.

humel said...

Interesting :-) Having been away I hadn't realised how much the class schedule had changed, but I understand where you're coming from about the direction in the journaling. And I thought the class inspiration would have been better as more of a gallery of projects than a feature of just a few people. I've found the prompts themselves to be really inspiring though, even when I haven't quite gone with them as they were intended - I made a layout that didn't even use a page protector, but which came about because of that prompt!

Love your collage, that class sounds fab x

SarahLP said...

I'm inclined to agree with Jacky.. I have really enjoyed the SFAN class.. although I can also see what you mean about the schedule slippage.

One thing I like about SHimelle's classes is the friendly and easy-to-access forum. I am also taking DIna Wakley's AJ101 class (well, haven't got far at all...) and I find getting into the forum much harder! I guess it's what you're used to, not Dina's fault at all!