Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Hop Starts tomorrow!


We want you to have the chance to win YOUR favorite stencil, embossing paste and Metallic F/X color... for each time you post along the hop, you need to leave a comment on the site where the newest creation is offered, then go to the Dreamweaver site here, choose the stencil you like best, identify it to us, tell us why it's your favorite, and how you think you'd use it. Just be sure you comment on each blog along the hop..make sure your comments count for winning! Information today...then October 1st you hop!


For each time you comment on different blogs, you need to choose a different stencil as a favorite, your favorite paste and your favorite Metallic F/X color...just in case you win more than once! At the end of the three days,each member of the Dream Team will choose a random entry to win and post it on their site by midnight of the next day October 4.


Hoppers are encouraged to comment once on each designer's blog throughout the blog hop. Each time you do so will give you one opportunity to win what's on offer at that blog. For an additional entry, you're invited to sign up to be followers of the Dream it Up Blog, right here. So, with eleven designers, this gives you the potential of twenty-two chances to win! All winners will be selected by, and posted on each designer's blog by midnight Monday.


It is not imperative to follow this schedule, but different designers will be posting their creations on different days, so take one last look on Sunday to make sure you've taken advantage for all the opportunities to win blog candy enjoy these designer's "treats", and here is their schedule:




Saturday, September 25, 2010

Being a better instructor...

I'm looking for something...

It has occurred to me in the last few classes that I taught that I need a slight refresher course on being a good instructor.  But where would you find such a course?  If one existed, wouldn't everyone want to take it?  Now, I'm not a lousy teacher (I hope!) but lately, I've felt disconnected while teaching (this is 'in person' teaching, by the way) and I want to be better.  It's not that my students don't learn - they do!  And it's not that they don't finish the projects - they do!  And really, I'm not even sure if any of my students notice but I just feel like I want to be better.  I want to be more connected to the people that take my classes, to help them more, understand and anticipate their needs and wants.

Is this possible? 

Today, I went on a virtual journey.  Looking for a class, a Ning, anything that might help those of us that teach crafts to adults.  It occurred to me, as I was looking, that perhaps this type of class (whether in person or online) doesn't exist.  I DID find a description for a craft instructor.  Look at the credentials for a craft instructor here:  Craft Instructor  I love it when they describe a craft instructor as:

Craft instructors are important to us, as they bring art and creativity to the public. They help even the most unskilled artist create beauty and power through artistic endeavors.

How true that is.

Now, when I say that I'm looking for a class to refresh me on these skills.  This is what I mean:

Craft instructors must be patient, kind and understanding of others' abilities and talents. They should have a sound knowledge of many aspects of crafting, and be extremely skilled in the area they teach. They should have leadership skills as well as very good communication skills. Craft instructors must be open to many types of people, cultures and backgrounds, and should be able to treat everyone equally. They should be fair, kind and enjoy people. If they choose to go into business for themselves, they should have some knowledge about business practices.

This is so right.  It hits right on what all craft instructors should be.  This is what I want to brush up on.  I believe that I'm patient, kind and understanding.  I have a sound knowledge of the crafts that I teach and many times I'm more than qualified to teach a skill.  It's the next sentence I would like to work on.  My leadership and my communication skills.  The rest of the paragraph, I've got too!

I do think that I can be a good leader.  Heck, sometimes I feel like the darned Pied Piper! But I just want to brush up on the leadership skills.  Or maybe, I need to be humbled.  I need to know what I'm doing but not act like I do. 

No, that's not it. 

I need to know what I'm doing, be able to teach it and make the people I'm teaching feel like the only person in class - like they are getting a private lesson. 

Is that possible?  Is that what people want??  It's really been such a long time since I've been a student in a class.  Perhaps that's my problem.  I need to be a student more often.  I need to sign up for a class that is WAAAAAAYYYY out of my element so that I can get a better understanding of what others want.  Should I?  What to take?  and where?

Then there's my communication skills.  Yes, I admit.  These have been shot lately.  I can't seem to wrap my mind around anything I want to say lately.  And I'm seriously wondering if this blog post even makes sense!  :-) I find that I'm struggling to come up with words that should very easily roll off my tongue.  Words like "adhesive", "stamp", "brush".  Several times in the last few classes, I've described what it is they need to use rather than just saying the word.  Because the words trips as it's falling off my tongue.  Ever been in class and a teacher has said, "So now stick that piece of paper to the other, using that sticky stuff that comes out of the little hand held container." 

OK, yah I might not have said exactly that but something similar - and a few times too!  How terribly embarassing.  What's going on that I can't connect the object to the word?  I will say that I do find that I trip on words while not teaching too.  Almost like my brain is spinning so fast, my vocal cords and tongue can't grasp what's being said and just stops working.  Very similar to a car sputtering awake on a cold, New England Winter morning. 

Blah....  Blah, blah..... bl....ah...bla...h. blah, blah, blah, bla......h, bl....ah, Blah, blah, blah, etc. 

Say that out loud and you'll have what I sound like... sometimes.  I do not have the knack of listening/comprehending and talking all at the same time.  I know someone who does but that's not me. 

So, if any of you out there in blog land stumble across a class that might make me a better instructor, I'm looking to brush up on my skills.  Sure, I may not learn much (or anything) but then again, I just might.  And I'm all about trying to better myself and hone my skills. 

It's all for the greater good.  I refresh my skills and you get a better instructor!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Classes this Fall... well through October anyhow...

Loads of online and in person classes are being set up for this Fall!

Online through My Creative Classroom, I'm offering right now Art Journals, Handbound... sign ups are only through September 24th.  Class has already started (but only one week, so you still have time to sign up if you'd like).  This class will run for 4 weeks and is only $20!  View the class information here.

Starting this week is the Metal Sampler.  If you've seen my blog before, you've seen this posted several times.  You will learn about 14 different metal embossing techniques in class.  This class starts on Friday, September 24th and will run for 3 weeks.  This class is $25.  View the class information here.

The last week of September, I'm starting a NEW class!  Stenciling with Style!  This class will cover all different types of paste embossing, stenciling and much more!  In this four week class, we'll cover about 20 techniques that you can do with all those beautiful Dreamweaver stencils!  This class is $25 and starts on Thursday, September 30th.  View the class information here.

On Monday, October 11th I will be starting the second bookmaking class.  MORE Art Journals, Handbound.  This class will run for 4 weeks and we'll be covering even more bindings as well as techniques for the inside pages.  Lots of FUN!  View the class information here.

Advanced Metal Techniques will be the last class I have on My Creative Classroom's calendar for this semester.  This class starts on October 28th.  This four week class will go into even more metal embossing techniques as well as putting together many different projects.    Class is $25.  View the class information here.

I have another class I wanted to put online but as of right now, I haven't too much time.  While I'd love to get another class out there typing up those directions takes time plus presentations and videos (if needed).  So stay tuned to see if I got to that one.

In person, I have a number of classes for September, October and we are already starting to schedule November.  While I don't have any samples for November, I definitely have one for this upcoming Friday...

Holiday 'scapes will be on Friday, September 24th from 7-9PM at the Scrapbook Cupboard.  Using just a few Stampscapes Stamps, ink and the right paper and you can create easy Holiday cards in a flash!  Class is $20 and includes everything you need to complete the above two cards.

On Sunday, September 26th you'll find me at the Scrapbook Cupboard again hosting the first Collage Workshop.  While this isn't a class where I teach you how to do the Collaging, I will be doing a demo during class using some different products in the store.  Class is from 12-3 (or 4, I'm not going to kick you out) and is $20.

Tuesday, September 28th, I'll be back at the Scrapbook Cupboard again for the Card Swap.  This month's theme is either Fall or Halloween cards.   This swap is already full but next month's will interest everyone.  We are making cards to send to our servicemen and women overseas.  These are cards that they can then use to send back to their families.  There is no need to sign up for this class, just drop off your cards before October 28th to have them included.  Absolutely no glitter or sparkly material on the cards.  For more information on it, see the date October 28th on the Scrapbook Cupboard's online calendar.

My first class in October at the Scrapbook Cupboard is on Thursday the 7th.  I don't have any samples for the Collage Cards for that night.  I'm awaiting a Penny Black delivery to the Cupboard so I can use those stamps.  I might try to squeeze in another from the Artful Stamper but so far, I don't have anything to show you for that.

Friday, October 8th I'll be back at the Cupboard for my Spooky Coffin and Mini book...

Inside this spooky little coffin box contains a hand bound mini album. This is perfect for those scary Halloween pictures or just to display! With a little metal on the cover and stitches on the inside, it's sure to be a ghoulishly fun class!  Class is $20.

For the rest of October I have:

Copic Theory on Thursday, October 14th - $20
Circle Journal Swap/Crop on Saturday, October 16th - $10
Copic Review for Beginners on Sunday, October 17th - $59, includes 6 markers
ATC Swap on Wednesday, October 20th - $5 - out theme this time around is {Alice in} Wonderland
Another Collage Workshop on Sunday, October 24th - $20
The Card Swap (see above) on the 26th - Free


Happy Holidays with Dreamweaver on Friday, October 22nd. 

Get a jump start on your Holiday cards using some tips and tricks from our own Dreamweaver Design Team Member, Kim! We'll be completing two Holiday cards using some unique techniques.  Class is $20.

I just am now realizing how much I have going on in the next month.  I'm tired just writing this post, nevermind actually doing it. This is just classes too.  Well, if you find me dead come Halloween, you'll know why!

As I get to complete the samples for some of those classes above, I'll post them here and on the Scrapbook Cupboard's website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creating this Fall...

For a craft teacher, Fall is the busiest season.  Or, well, it is for me!  When Fall pops up, I find myself crazy busy with all sorts of different classes both in person and online.  But it's not just the classes that bring chaos to my life, it's the creating and keeping them all straight!

A few months ago, my friend Susan, bought me a 'Projects Notebook'.  It's set up so that you can list the things you need for each project and then refer back to them easily.  I tried to use the notebook and I think the set up is great, I just need it bigger and well, I need someone else to write it for me!!  I'm just not that type of crafter.  Although, I must say... when I do write directions (all my Copic in person classes come with directions as well as all my online classes have printable and downloadable PDF files)  I spend a good deal of time making sure they are accurate and step by step.  I have used the notebook on occasion to write something in it so that I remember to type it up later, so it's not all a waste.  And someday, I'm going to type the format of the notebook into a Word document so that I can use it more often. 

Anyhow, one of my biggest problems is how long it takes me to actually create.  First, it's finding the stuff.  Yes, I have everything organized but no, it's never clean!  And then the creative process.  For me, it takes a while to get started.  Like a cold car on a winter morning, it takes a little bit of time to warm up.  But once it's running, I can swoop down and run like the wind. 

OK, that is until the wind hits a brick wall - usually the brick wall is anyone or anything that interrupts me.  And when I say anyone or anything, I mean it.  I've got two sister's expecting their first babies in the next couple of months, so they have been known to pop by for a visit.  I have a Mom who works here in town and she's been known to stop by unexpectedly (well, sometimes she texts first but I swear sometimes she texts from my driveway!) and always visits on Friday's - most of the day.  I have my Weight Watcher's meetings, my Zumba classes (which I LOVE!), Thursday's belong to my hubby since he is usually home all day.  Monday morning's I signed up to volunteer for Caleb's classroom library time at school.  I LOVE to volunteer, it's so rewarding plus seeing my kids at school interacting with their friends, I just love the experience...  And the 90 minutes flies by.  All that plus whatever else happens leaves very little time to actually create.  Which frustrates, saddens and sometimes angers me.  I love to do it but I just can't seem to get to it.  Just like any other crafting Mom out there, it's tough to fit it into your schedule between laundry, dishes, homework, after school activities (my boys are currently just in scouts), keeping house, paying bills, groceries and whatever else needs doing.  No wonder I'm tired!

Over the next few months, I'll be planning two baby showers, hosting several Tastefully Simple parties and events (did I mention that I'm a consultant for them too? Yup, and this Fall's catalog is fabulous.  People are loving all the goodies they came out with this year!), teaching at the Scrapbook Cupboard, teaching online through MCC, being my Sister's birthing coach and so many more things I just can't wrap my head around it all.

Tomorrow, I'm going to post my upcoming classes.  I've got quite a few on the books and want to make sure everyone gets a chance to see!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Hop coming soon!

The 10 designers of the Dreamweaver Dream Team are working to put together a blog hop for YOU!

You'll want to watch the above link and be sure to come back to this blog on September 30th!  Here's a tiny sneak peek of what I've been working on....

Hey, I said it was tiny!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lots of Pasted Cards!

Last month, the Dreamweaver design team was asked to create some Holiday inspired cards using the Dreamweaver Pastes and Stencils. These are some of the designs I provided...

I had a lot of fun making these cards!   Some of these cards will be taught in some upcoming classes too!  You'll see several of the cards taugh at both the Scrapbook Cupboard in East Bridgewater, MA as well as online with My Creative Classroom.  My Dreamweaver online class starts Thursday, September 30th.  Lots of techniques in class to learn, including videos, presentations and hand outs!

Coming up soon - a Dreamweaver design team blog hop!  More details coming soon!