I know that I’ve mentioned Big Picture Classes before in a couple of posts so if you don’t know who they are yet I figured I’d better let you in on this great resource. I am a huge fan of Big Picture Classes. If you haven’t heard of them before boy are you in for a treat if you go and check them out. In a nutshell they are an online teaching resource for papercrafters, photographers and people of a creative bent. I’ve taken a bunch of scrapbooking classes along with goal setting/personal development and organizational classes; and participated in quite a few free events which they host throughout the year like their Creative Crop and Pyjama Parties. They offer both live work-shops where you can participate and engage with other crafters in the class materials and self-paced classes that you can do at your own pace. Sometimes popular classes will show up again as self-paced versions if you miss out on catching the live work-shop.
BPC inspires me like no-ones business. A few of my goals this year were to increase the out-put of finished layouts in my albums and also use up a bunch of stash. With that in mind I signed up for Stacy Julian’s Inspired Scrapbooking class (which runs all year long) in March, even though it had already begun. The class itself is a no pressure version of her popular class Twelve which ran in 2012 and was based around twelve different themes. The themes are there to inspire your storytelling and get those meaning-filled ideas out of your head and into your albums. You can do one layout a month or three or more or none if you really want. Seriously you can just soak in all the inspiration, float around on the message boards and bask in the amazing sense of community and comradery, and believe me this class is so much FUN (incidentally that’s out theme for the month of August). Stacy is off the charts enjoyable to be around and totally cracked us up with her video this month. It really is no pressure, hanging out is totally encouraged and if you want to join in you can sign up and get all the materials from now until the end of the year.
As far as my personal goals for the class you’ll note that I said ‘finished’ layouts before. I don’t know about you and maybe I’m the only one but I have a bunch of layouts in my albums that aren’t quite done. They’re missing some journaling or a title or photo or just need a little something extra for me to call it good. So part of my goal was to use the twelve themes in Inspired Scrapbooking as a jumping off point for finishing some already started layouts and then letting the themes be the impetus for documenting stories that I keep meaning to get in my albums, or inspire new stories (but only if I felt like it that month). So far I’m doing pretty good with my goals. I haven’t posted too many layouts to the gallery at this stage because I’m mostly just finishing up older ones but I have got a few in the wings waiting to be photographed and uploaded.
My other goal of using up stash was really sparked when I took Organizing FUNdamentals last year with Wendy Smedley and Aly Dosdall because it truly revolutionised my scrap space. That class was one of the reasons that I have managed to be so productive and prolific with my scrapping this year because now I know where everything is and I have a fantastic understanding of what exactly makes up my scrapping stash. I pretty much had the same configuration for the last twelve years and had never really done a purge of supplies so I was totally due for one, but I still ended up with a bunch of stash I loved and couldn’t part with. With that in mind I signed up for Aly Dosdall’s Super Stashbusters 4-week workshop. She ran a similar course Stashbusters Anonymous in 2013 and early 2014 but the time wasn’t right for me then. But you can bet I was all in this go round and you can still get in if you want to (registration closes August 7th so if you want to join us, you’ve gotta be quick and jump on in. But even if you miss the deadline don’t worry you can still do the sister course Stashbusters Anonymous as a self-paced class and get in on the stashbusting action.) Each week we’re presented with three challenges and a bonus challenge to make a dent in our supplies. We’re a week in and so far I’ve completed a layout for each of the challenges and am considering what I can do for the bonus challenge. I’ve found the content to be super easy to adapt to my own unique supplies and my pages have come together much quicker than I thought they could so I’m pleasantly surprised with my progress. Best of all my hoarding tendencies are getting a great big kick in the pants.
In my humble opinion though the best thing about BPC is the community which is why I particularly love to participate in the work-shops. The group of people who make up the BPC community – teachers, students and ring-ins are as encouraging, warm and friendly a group of peeps as you would ever want to meet. I am always uplifted and happy after a visit to the message boards and I just love how they all support each other and help a gal out when she’s stuck on a scrappy conundrum. You should definitely join us – you won’t regret it.