Thursday, July 19, 2012

Learning a Whole Lot of Something...

Hi there! Thanks for joining me for another installment in My Creative Journey. Things are about to get exciting! In my last post, I had great fun revisiting some old challenges that helped jump start my scrapping obsession. What did I do next? Took a class, of course! 

You know by now that I had long since discovered Shimelle and I may or may not have read the majority of the archives on her blog. This did prove to be a good thing as not only did I discover a wealth of information with a completely witty and enjoyable writing style, but I also discovered that she has classes. LOTS of classes. They are totally affordable and if you missed them in the live versions, you can take them any time. How awesome is that? Not a news flash to many of you, I realize. But, this was a major revelation for me! In addition to being a stay at home mom of 3 small children, we are on a limited budget. Let's just say I don't get out much! So, attending crops or taking classes at the LSS was not something that would work for me. When I discovered her classes, I found my solution. YAY! 

After perusing her many offerings, I chose Something From Almost Nothing. I was initially drawn to this as I pretty much had almost nothing in my stash, I figured this would work out well for me. Plus it was only $15. 

Turns out that this class was really designed to help the more seasoned scrapper use up their stash and to not acquire new items just for the sake of a class. Silly me! But, you know what? That totally didn't matter...
After signing up for the class, I quickly received access to the private forum. The class had already run live, so all of the materials were there for me in an archived format. However, since I was new to this online class thing, I decided to act as though it was live and I took it one day at a time. There was a bit of a learning curve as I wasn't even sure what a "prompt" was. But, it wasn't hard and I started on my project almost as quickly as I had signed up. 

This class, like her others, is very flexible. Shimelle suggested a specific format for a mini book, but structured the prompts in a way that you really could make a layout or anything else for that matter. I had no idea what I was doing and wanted to learn as much as I could, so I followed right along with the mini that Shimelle made. 

Free printables were also provided and went along with a theme of "Celebrate Life." I like to celebrate. I like life. Works for me!
Since my life is centered around mothering these amazing children that I have been blessed with, I decided that my little book would be all about "My Life As Mom." Thankfully, Shimelle suggested that if we were intending to make the mini book, that we choose a color palette to work from. I would have never thought of that on my own and might have ended up with one hot mess if it weren't for her wisdom there!
Armed with pink, green, white and kraft, I dove in. Everyday I downloaded the corresponding PDF and worked my way through the prompts. Each lesson focused on a different material or supply. This was so ideal for me as I really didn't know much about such things. I stayed true to the intent of the class and didn't purchase anything extra. I used what I had in my small stash, found things around the house, and raided my mom's button stash.
From metal to alphas to transparencies and beyond, I scrapped, I learned, I made mistakes, I had fun and I made a mini!
And at the end of it I had a much better understanding of materials as well as my likes and dislikes. I even put that Zutter to good use. Worth way more than $15 I would say! 
In addition to my increased knowledge, I came away with something much more valuable. I had a MAJOR aha moment! I don't have to make anything for anyone other than me! Confusing? Let me try to explain. There is this notion, or at least there was for this art school graduate, that art is only art if someone else is willing to pay money for it. But...

I once heard a quote from the very talented and renowned Georgia O'Keefe who said something like:

I paint what I love and I am lucky that someone likes it.

For a very long time, I stopped making art. Every time I got an idea for something I was halted with thoughts like, who will buy this, how will I market this, is this a good long-term idea? Good Gracious! I should have just made it! Who cares if I would sell it or not? And if I did actually want to be a "working artist," I wasn't exactly going to achieve that goal by NOT making anything! Halted by expectations, I suppose. 
So here I was, making art, with no concern as to wether or not anyone would want to buy it or even look at it. That is when it completely clicked for me that this new hobby of mine was the perfect way to not only keep memories, but to express myself through art. I could be an "artist" even if no one else wanted what I was making. In a way, scrapbooking gave me permission to create without the concern of sales or some perceived notion of success. Good medicine for this recovering Graphic Designer!
The freedom from the idea that everything I make has to be greeted with, "You could sell this!" is priceless. I can make what I want to make. I can enjoy it...even if it's not the next addition to the MOMA!
I have gone on to take many more classes from Shimelle. They are all beyond amazing! But, this one will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

In fact, I think it should be this month's Layout Love Linky prize, don't you? 

Not as interested in this class? Already took it? No worries! If you win, you can apply the class credit towards any of her offerings. Consider this my gift to you for being part of Purple Mailbox. So, head on over to LLL and link-up! You have one more week to do so. A link back is always appreciated. Oh yeah - you might just get this tag in the mail too:
So, at this point in My Creative Journey, I have learned about the basic tools and supplies for scrapbooking, found the online world, participated in challenges, taken a class and finally gotten rid of my art school baggage... Smooth sailing from here? Not exactly. Hold on tight, things are about to get awkward. Really awkward...


  1. Ashli,
    What an amazing journey this paper craft art is. I am absolutely loving this series!!

    And that tag is so beautiful!!! Love.

    Have a Blessed evening ~~~ dawn

  2. First...that tag is superb!
    Second thanks for sharing your amazing mini and thoughts during the course.
    Sure am enjoying these posts.

  3. Awesome journey - love that you're documenting it. Sounds like a scrapbook page to me! LOL! I had the same aha moment when I stopped trying to get published and began creating for me. However, I have an attention span of a gnat and grow bored, so therefore, I love learning new things and kicking the tires. I really do love your style.

  4. Really enjoying reading your journey...Love and art..hand and hand I think :) Your pages are such an inspiration.

  5. Pouring our love into our art is a treasure for our families, right? It's priceless and something money can't buy. :) I'm so glad you pushed on and found your way and your own amazing style. I'm looking forward to hearing more. Have a great weekend!

  6. Oooo, love the foreshadowing! Can't wait to hear more. I learned awhile back that if no one ever appreciated what I was doing that was totally OK because I was doing it because I wanted to and I loved it and that was all that mattered. So glad that you found your way and that you found a way to share with us because we will always ooh and ahh for you! :)

  7. I LOVE that quote!
    It is so true and the reason I started posting in the gallery again.
    I am not so much worried about if others will like it, but just getting pages I love (and some I might now love as much) done! :)
    I need to remember that quote for the future :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    and so glad you took a Shimelle class for your first because she is one of the best teachers for sb out there!

  8. that's a beautiful article, i feel like Shimelle has taught me so much too. Keep going for it, life is such an amazing journey!

  9. I would have loved to take that class~my first one with Shimelle was on blogging and the then 4X6 love ~ she is great!! Love your style, how ever it got developed~great for our art community!!! Always great and the double tag~wow!!!!

  10. Love your tag and love that quote. Such an inspiring story!

  11. I love the tag and everything you wrote. I have to forget whether anyone else likes what I do. I have to do what my soul tells me to do and accept it was meant to be that way!

  12. Don't you love those aha moments? What a great mini and a great experience with your first class.

  13. Great story! So glad that this one class brought you so far!

  14. Love your blog.Love your insights into the scraping world.So glad I subscribed. P.S. also a Shimmelle fan :)

  15. P.S Have you seen all the glitter girl episodes on two peas?Those ones are free and so very good.

    1. Thank you so very much for your sweet comments! Yes, I faithfully watch Glitter Girl and LOVE it!!!

  16. More of this great story! I love the mini album you created to celebrate your life as a mama!

  17. I am having so much fun sharing your creative journey! I love your aha moment of art for you is ok, it doesn't't have to be for anyone else - very freeing.

  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this tag!!! The banners are awesome and I adore the layout. Beautiful!

  19. I'm loving your mini album! YOU always amaze me! Love Penny

  20. I love your mini album and what you decided to make in on. Love it.
    I am also happy that your realized you can create just for you.
    Everyone keeps telling me I could sell my creations, they don't understand I do it because it makes me happy and just for the pure joy..not to make money. I think they think I am Weird, lol.

  21. Love the book you created. Shimelle is my biggest scrapping inspiration. I just love her whole philosophy about scrapbooking. When my layout was one of those chosen recently for one of her "& now for something completely different" challenges, Shimelle gave me a credit to take one of her classes and "Something From Almost Nothing" is what I chose! You've got me excited to start doing the class now. :-)

  22. I am loving your posts about your journey. It just so happens I am also at the beginning of my journey and coincidentally on a similar track with Shimelle's classes and videos. I finished Hitchhikers, then I took KelliBradford's cameo class 2. Next I want to check out Shimelle's blogging class. I just posted a layout I've never blogged before here:


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