I have a confession to make. I'm really lousy at making cards. They all look the same, and not in a good way. :)
I love what other people can create, and Cards magazine is like eye candy for me, so I decided to do something about my card-issues.
Several weeks back, I stumbled onto Online Card Classes. It's been around for a while, but I was living under a rock or something and wasn't clued in to the awesomeness that awaited inside.
At the time, they were enrolling for Pattern Play, and I signed up. I didn't really know much about the site, but it looked fun, and I decided to give it a try. And yes, that's about the extent of my dangerous living. ;)
I've taken online crafty courses before, but Pattern Play (and all the courses at OCC) are set up a little different from what I experienced before. There is a main, home page, for each course. From there, you can access the forums and gallery, as well as the daily lessons.
The lessons are delivered in a blog format, and there's a separate post for each day. Within each lesson, there are multiple card examples, with step-by-step videos for each. And the videos are amazing; they share so many techniques and tips along with the beautiful cards. Each lesson is begun by either Kristina Werner or Jennifer McGuire (the creative forces behind the site), but they also have several "guest artists" who share cards and videos as well. Having all the guest artists has an added bonus - there is a variety of styles and creative approaches shared.
After each card/video, they list all the products that were used to make the card, with links to online stores. At the end of each day's lesson, they share a full-color download summarizing the material that was covered. At the end of the course, they compile all the daily pdf's into a downloadable "book. They also allow you to download the videos, which I thought was a nice bonus.
I greatly appreciate that everything has lifetime access; once you've purchased a class, you can access the videos and pdf's and gallery forever. The forums and gallery are closed for new entries about a week or so after the interactive courses end, but you can still go back and read through the forums or browse the gallery.
The interactive courses are very interactive - Jennifer and Kristina, as well as the guest artists, regularly post in the forums. They also run giveaways during the interactive courses, and offer discounts to several online stores.
All past courses may still be purchases as independent classes. I was so impressed with Pattern Play that I signed up for Kick Start as an independent course (and I have plans to take more!).
With the independent courses, you have access to all the lessons and forums and gallery, but you are not eligible for giveaways or the shopping discount. It's still worth every penny.
Kick Start motivated me to rethink my entire craft space, and I've just started His & Hers (they're still enrolling for the interactive course, if anyone wants to join me!).
I truly feel like a novice when it comes to card-making, but I think theses classes would appeal to even experienced crafters. I'm sure I sound like an infomercial, but I promise that Online Card Classes did not pay me to write this (they don't even know I'm writing a review!). I'm just a very happy customer, and thought I'd share my experiences with the Nesters.
If anyone is interested, you can sign up for the Online Card Classes Newsletter here.
Has anyone else taken one of these card classes? I'd love to hear your opinions. If you know of another site that offers similar courses, I'd love to hear about that as well!