Digital Scrapbooking Classes, Tutorials, etc for Recommending

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Digital Scrapbooking Classes, Tutorials, etc for Recommending

We're always thinking about new features to add to Pixel Scrapper, and one of the things we'd like to develop is our tutorials section. We'd like to expand it out to be more of a "school." As we think about doing this, I'd love to hear from you about classes, tutorials, etc you've taken online that have been good, (or bad) and what else you'd like to see in a feature like this.

When I was over at Hummies world a year ago, she started designer classes, and I participated a little in it, but learned a lot. It was basically a few designers that came together and started from the beginning, teaching everything a designer needs to know, and all the tips and tricks that you can't really find anywhere. When I first started designing, I couldn't find anything on how to become a successful designer, and all the info that comes with it, unless I paid for it. I didn't have the money, and I just thought it wasn't fair to those who have such a passion for it, and soooo want to learn, but don't have the money for classes. I think it would be such a great thing for pixel scrapper to make two schools, one very specifically for designers, and one for scrapbooking and learning your software and such. Because they really are two different things. Then, people could share their experiences and tips and tricks they have learned over the years, and it makes all the difference for new designers to know what the typical expectations are in a store all the way down to little details. Even if they never want to be a part of a store, its good to know all the ins and outs of everything.

That's true. Things came up over time, like quality control. I never even really thought to do a quality check on my items (not that I was designing crappy items, or at least, not intentionally), but it came up in my store (Wilma4Ever) and I've tried to adhere to those standards as part of my designing flow now.

Personally, after my experience at coursera, I think the idea of a school should have projects/assignments, fixed period and deadlines. Because if you can jump in anytime then it would just be any informational site out there, and the tendency is just to read and not produce anything.

Some stuff I think should be formally included as well:
1. History - evolution of the forms of scrapbooking, how did it come about
2. terms
3. tools
4. leading personages

Then during grading, perhaps feedback from peers? (there should be a nice balance of encouragement, while giving very necessary detailed critic and suggestions).


I think that having fixed, set courses can be great for some people, but not for everyone. There have been MANY classes that I have elected not to participate in because I wasn't sure I would have the time in my schedule to devote to the class' time constraints. Being able to pick up lessons a la carte and being able to study at my own pace is something I would be interested in. That's why I like tutorials so much. I can just go through them as I need them. And then, a community like this one is FANTASTIC for any needed feedback.

So, yes, I would say that having a more intense course would probably be great to have (maybe biannually?), but I think that all the info in it should be available for someone to be able to self study. But something structured would definitely be very nice - I like structure.

I think it would be such a great thing for pixel scrapper to make two schools, one very specifically for designers, and one for scrapbooking and learning your software and such. Because they really are two different things. Then, people could share their experiences and tips and tricks they have learned over the years, and it makes all the difference for new designers to know what the typical expectations are in a store all the way down to little details. Even if they never want to be a part of a store, its good to know all the ins and outs of everything.

@Sheila: That's a great idea... I can't speak for anyone else, but I personally think that once someone gets to know their software well, followed by learning to scrap well, that it's at that point that they may decide that they do or don't want to get into the designing aspect of digiscrapping. The problem is finding the help to get to know your software well AND learn how to digiscrap well with the software you chose. If you have one of the Photoshop products, it's much easier to find that. But for other software products (such as PSP) it's not as easy to locate that help...

I've only participated in one train here, back in December. I didn't know it at the time, but I was in WAY over my head. I'd never done any designing per se, and probably shouldn't have signed up for that... Yeah, I'd made a frame here & there, and a paper on occasion, because I needed it for a "slow speed scrap" I was participating in & I didn't have all the supplies needed. But I knew NOTHING about quality checking. I thought I did a good job on my part of the train....only to learn that I didn't do a good job at all. And it was because of that quality checking mostly, but I'm sure there were other settings I should have had set a certain way within PSP while I was messing around (to keep things from looking odd). Anyhow, I was so proud of my first little mini kit & sent it to a digiscrap friend. I didn't know it at the time, but she was a designer AND had done quality checking for a site. She told me to withdraw my piece, and said we should work on it together to fix the problems on it and I can re-offer it at a later date. She was willing to help me fix things at a slow pace, doing things as I can handle it. Only problem with that was December was nearly over & I'm sure everyone had already downloaded everything so I didn't withdraw it. And things have been so busy here between the kids & health issues that I haven't had time to work on that with her yet. (maybe when school is back in session?)

Sorry about the long rambling, but I was trying to illustrate that I need to know my product a lot better (PSP) before I ever consider attempting to design again. And when I do get to that point, I don't ever have any intentions of making a business out of it and selling stuff (just not interested) - I would probably just design to make stuff for myself that I'd like and haven't seen elsewhere & to provide freebies. My way of giving back to the community (since freebies are what enabled me to even try out this hobby in the first place). smiley So when I get to the point where I feel VERY comfortable in PSP (my lack of knowledge with the software holds me back at times) THEN I might be interested in taking design classes (at the ground level) similar to what you took. 'Course I'd need to find a place that was familiar with my software &/or teaches from that perspective (nearly everything I ever see is PS-related).

I definitely love the idea of design basics. For me, I would prefer not to have date deadlines and have it more tutorial-based so I could work at it on my own schedule. If it were structured similar to the current tutorials on PS, that would be great - I like watching a tutorial (or reading) then being able to try it. Tips and tricks for things to look out for and for sure, quality-check type things - these all come from people who have learned from mistakes (their own or someone else's!) Thanks for continuing to make this a great community filled with so many experts!

Thanks for all the input ladies! In our theoretical dream world, we are planning to have two learning areas, one for layouts and one for designing. If there are specific topics that you've had trouble finding info for, let me know!

Scraps and Pieces has a annual Design Mentoring Class. It was on May this year, but IDK if it´s always on the same time. It´s a 6-week program showing lots of things on how to build a kit. Students are split in groups of 5 or 6 members, and each group has a mentor, which is an experienced designer of SNP store. Basic groups will make a colab together; intermediate and advanced students will make full kits. Each and every piece that is designed by the students is detailed quality-checked by the mentor, in a way it meets the standard of their store (which, we learn in the course, is very high). Mentors sometimes help students think why they´re making this or that, and give tips on what costumers like best. It´s free of charge.

I was a proud student of the intermediate group of this year´s class. My mentor was Karen Diamond. The three things that helped me more were: Having my pieces carefully quality-checked, because, even following the turorials, I wasn´t sure on when little details, like jagged edges or small spots out of gamut were acceptable, and when they aren´t, the fact that the QC standards for something were taught at same time than the how-to-do the same thing, and the CU resources (like actions, templates, shapes, etc) that were appointed as the favorites of the store designers were pointed out and Lori (SNP owner) got discount coupons for the class members to get almost all of them, plus some coupons to start building a designer stash, and freebies from the store.

What changed from the beginner to the intermediate and advanced classes wasn´t the tutorials (all the groups got all the materials, with basic and advanced techniques) or the quality standards (they were high for everyone), but the variety and ammount of itens the students should do; Beginners were suposed, for example, to make 2 solids, and three patterned paper (not sure if the amount is this one) with the tutorials they understood and were better for them; while intermediate students needed to do 6-8 solids with different textures in each one, and around 20 papers, using different tecniques and with less cu items possible, advanced students should do some more papers than the intermediates, and were encouraged to use different techniques, like making paper with had glitter in some parts, mixing and blending textures, and so on. Also, intermediates have chosen their own theme and palettes (most of us never had this opportunity before, as were only designing to play blog trains!) while most advanced students had their palette chosen, and needed to deceide the theme (cause it´s important to know how to work with different kinds of palettes, even if they are not your favorite theme/colors).

Lorien, I believe next year SNP's Mentoring Class is going to have all participants do individual kits. We had a few of the participants drop out during the weeks which meant that the collaborative kit was not really complete. I think this is a good move and fair to everyone though I do realize that it might be more demanding, especially for those really new to designing.

Either way it was a wonderful experience and well worth the time much learned! I recommend it to everyone!

This is exactly what I was looking for. I really hope that Pixel Scrapper adds tutorials for designing. But I'm thankful for the resources to other places that may offer what I am looking for too.

I think this is a great idea! It seems like there are thousands of tutorials on how to scrapbook but when it comes to scrapbook design, everyone is hush hush. I like the idea of classes we can do at our own pace. I think a way for students to offer feedback is good too. I took a CSS class online that I really liked by Pugly Pixel. I liked that all the tutorials were video and she divided them up into lessons and then activities to practice what you learned in the lesson.

Some random things I can't figure out how to do and would like to see in a class:
extract elements
make my own overlays/textures
create repeating patterns
create textured papers that are all white or all black

I have never taken an online class before, but I am getting curious now that I have started designing. I just Google stuff as I go along, but I am not very sure I am doing things the right way. Design tutorials or classes on PS would be great, since I already spend so much time here anyway, lol.

@Rachel: I learned how to make repeat patterned paper here. There are other tutorials as well - some of the newer are inspired by doubts on the class I mentioned some posts above, including one of my doubts.

Seeing the tutorials is better than trying to read a book. You can follow along with the pictures which makes it easy.

Hi all:

Wendyzine made a book on designing:

Amanda Rockwell does a course and sells CU...

The most helpful classes for me have been Debbie Hodge's Scrapbook Coach classes. She takes me by the hand and step by step leads me through designing a page. It always turns out differently than hers but gives me a start. Theory for me is not nearly as helpful as step by step.

I would love to see that kind of help for 8 and a half by 11 pages since that what I have switched to and it's hard to find tutorials for those.

I love the idea of a 'school'. smiley

I would love a tutorial on how to create embossed papers, kind of like these:

(both the dots as well as the square borders)

I'll put that on the list Shannon!

@Lorien: how can we join the designer mentor class @ Scraps n Pieces? i'm so interested in joining class, especially if it's free smiley

@Bimbi: Sign up at their newsletter, and, when they open it next year they´ll anounce it there!

I've never made my own paper, tags or anything for scrapbooking. Marisa's challenge for the mini kit got me thinking that I'sd like to try to do something like that. I use Photoshop Elements 9 and have CS 5 (little intimidating) but cannot find good tutorials or how to make the different elements. I tried making a tag but by using this tutorial Tag tutorial. I followed all the steps but I tried putting the tag on a paper element to 'test' it but couldn't move it around like I can if I use a pre-made one. I only need the basics for how to make each element. I'm willing to play around and learn futher on my own. If someone could just steer me clearly in the right direction. I'm not sure if I can post this request here but I'm so desperate already. Been looking and trying all day. Please help. smiley