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Creative Courses for a Spring Refresh

April 10, 2015

Lately I’ve been inspired to take some online classes to improve my skills and learn new ones. Eventually I’d like to offer an e-course or e-book of my own, but until then I want to share the ones I’ve come across that I know you would love. As a bonus, Craftsy is offering 50% off their popular classes today through Sunday! Without further ado, here are my picks:

Crafting and DIY:

  • Craftsy – Jewelry & Paper Crafts // Several courses in this category on scrapbooking and jewelry making techniques. I want to take Cardmaking Essentials so I can stop running to the store every time I need to send a card!
  • Craftsy – Photography & Art // A variety of courses teaching drawing and photo editing techniques, depending on your skill level. Personally, I’d like to learn about painting Pet Portraits!
  • Brit + Co – Hand-lettering Basics // Crash course in hand-lettering with Danielle ($19.99) – I want to learn how the pros do their lettering, definitely taking this one.
  • Brit + Co – Sewing 101 // A 1 hour sewing class with Roxy ($19.99), this is your chance to stop talking about it and finally learn the basics.

Web Design:

  • Make WP Work – WordPress, Simplified // e-book by Lisa at Elembee ($20); Lisa also has a course called Code Create Now. Registration is now closed but you can sign up for an email reminder when the next course opens up.
  • Don’t Fear the Internet – Basic HTML & CSS for Non-Web Designers // A free resource for designers who want to learn more about web, by Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer
  • Codecademy – Make a Website // One of their many free courses to teach you how to code!


  • Braid Creative – Shape Up Your Content // This is their current course open for registration. Also see their future courses, all targeted to creative entrepreneurs
  • Marketing for Creatives // An e-book by April at Blacksburg Belle to help you market your creative products
  • Design Is A Job // e-book by Mike Monteiro, teaches designers how to be better at business

You can probably tell I’ll be brushing up on my web design skills and working on my business in the coming months. There’s so much available to learn online, you just have to pick one and dive in!

Your turn: What skills are you wanting to learn this spring? Please recommend any creative courses that we should know about!

{Photo via Death to Stock}

*Some links in this post contain affiliate links, meaning that I may receive a commission if make a purchase through one of these links.*


Let Go of Old Projects

November 27, 2012

Letting Go Is Freedom by ShellseaArt on Etsy{Letting Go Is Freedom : ShellseaArt on Etsy}

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week! I took off early to visit my family in Alabama then picked Will up from the airport in Birmingham on Wednesday. I am thankful to have a chance to visit with them and take the whole week to relax and catch up. We watched our dog Cody play with their new pups, thought up names for said pups, watched the Lions game, and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We also had “Thanksmas” (we opened gifts early, since we will be in Michigan in December), went shopping (NOT Black Friday), played blackjack at the casino, and tailgated for the Alabama vs. Auburn game. It was such a great time.

While I was there, I took the opportunity to help clean out my old room. My mom has been doing a bit of decluttering, and I know that my stuff is taking up a lot of space. I still have a lot of things stored there, everything from unfinished art projects to wedding gifts that we haven’t moved to Ohio yet. For years I saved things I thought would be fun for future projects, just in case I eventually got around to making them.

In going through my things, I found a container of broken glass that I wanted to use for a mosaic project. I can always buy cheap ceramics at the thrift store to break, if I ever get around to actually making a mosaic, so the broken pieces went in the trash. I was also saving a large canvas with empty paint bottles glued to it – my idea was to make a 3D city skyline painting. It was a bulky thing with the paint bottles, so I tore off the paint bottles and trashed them. Now I have a blank canvas that is easier to move, and free for a fresh painting idea.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I finally realized that I don’t have to finish old projects if I don’t want to. I am no longer interested in some of them or it will be a long time before I start, so I don’t need to store them through several moves. I can take the pieces and make something new and discard what I no longer need. In turn this frees my mind and my storage space for projects that I am really excited about.

This not only applies to me as an artist, but to any type of project that multi-passionate people like myself have started and lost interest in. I’m a big fan of the term multipotentialite coined by Emilie at Puttylike. It implies that we have potential to do multiple things, but we get distracted because we think we HAVE to finish something before we can start on something new. This is just not the case. As we grow, our interests change and we have to leave room for that change. Let go of your guilt about old projects, let them go. You will have so much renewed energy for your current interests once you are able to do this.

Your turn: What projects have you been holding onto that you need to let go? What project are you excited to start? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Thank you to everyone who voted for my Thanksgiving Fashion + Decor notebook in Springpad’s Turkey Day contest! Unfortunately, I was not one of the winners, so there won’t be a Breville giveaway on the blog. However, I hope to have a giveaway sometime in the future!


It’s All About Who You Know

September 27, 2011

Monster art{Monster Art : whimsicalFantasy}

He will eat your resume.

I learned it the hard way. I wasted time on countless job search sites, just looking for my “big break.” Hoping one of those dream jobs would pick me. What I didn’t know was, those jobs already had candidates, ones who had connections within the company.  They were always one step ahead of me. CareerBuilder and Monster are just backup, and they help the company more than they will help you. You have a better chance of getting weeded out than getting your resume in front of the right person.

Every job I ever had, I got because I knew someone.

In college I started babysitting two wonderful little girls, all because my roommate had a hot date one night and referred me to stay with them instead. I got my first restaurant job at Newks Café because my sorority sister worked there. I snagged one of two open graphic design positions at The Crimson White my senior year at Alabama – it didn’t hurt that the creative manager was in my design class and saw my work every week in critiques.

After graduation I moved to Cincinnati and forgot this. It took me nine months to get a job in my industry, partly because I was wasting time with online job tools. But everything else I was doing still proved this fact. I started working as a hostess at Bravo, because I walked in and got an application directly from the manager. I was also doing freelance work for my husband’s company. I used this small amount of graphic design work to show and improve my skills, which is how I got my current position at Frontgate – through my husband’s boss’ nephew, who worked there at the time. You see, it doesn’t hurt to know someone!

If this makes you feel discouraged in your job search, don’t be.

This time last year, I would get really down when I read articles like this, because I didn’t think I knew anyone in Cincinnati. Later I found out I could change that if I put myself out there. I had to get out of the house. I had to meet people.

Everyone you know is a possible connection.

You just have to make it known that you are searching for a job. Soon enough you will find that people want to help you. A family member might know the hiring manager at just the type of company you want to work for. A friend may offer to submit your resume to their boss. My banker even tried to get me a job at his wife’s company! The more people you meet and the more relationships you develop, the better chance you have at getting a great job.

You never know what can happen if you make the effort.

Trust me, it’s a lot more efficient than spending hours sending resumes and cover letters into the void that is CareerBuilder. That Monster will gobble them right up.

Taking advantage of your network is just the first step to getting noticed by a company. Next is the impression you make in the interview and of course your skills and talents. Connections can only take you so far. After that you have to show up and do your best.

Have you searched for hours on job sites before finally giving up? Tell me an example of a great job you got through someone in your network. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


How to Prepare for Sorority Recruitment

August 1, 2011

Pi Phi pics{Pi Phi Sisters : Image source | Sorority Notecards : CreativitybyKatie | Typography Print : girlsatplay}

This has always been my favorite article that I wrote for back in college when I was an active member of Pi Beta Phi. I think it helped a lot of people and eHow decided to keep it online when they updated their site. If you or your daughter/sister/niece is interested in going Greek, especially at a southern university, there are plenty of tips in this article to help.

So you’ve graduated from high school and you are getting ready to go to college. You start to consider what organizations to get involved in, and you have decided that you want to go Greek. Here are some tips for how to prepare for sorority recruitment, from finding recs to figuring out which sorority to choose at the end of recruitment…

Things you’ll need:

  • Resume and picture
  • Recommendations
  • clothing and shoes for the week of recruitment



To Achieve Your Dreams, Remember Your ABC’s

February 14, 2011

Dreams & ABCs

{Sweet Dreams Sign : Back Porch Shoppe | Bauhaus ABC Print : January Jones Prints | For in dreams… : Laurkon Designs | ABC Canvas : Trendy Peas}

  • Avoid negative sources, people, places, things, and habits.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Consider things from every angle.
  • Don’t give up and don’t give in.
  • Enjoy life today; yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come.
  • Family and friends are hidden treasures. Seek them and enjoy their riches.
  • Give more than you planned to give.
  • Hang on to your dreams.
  • Ignore those who try to discourage you.
  • Just do it!
  • Keep on trying. No matter how hard it seems, it will get easier.
  • Love yourself first and most.
  • Make it happen
  • Never lie, cheat or steal. Always strike a fair deal.
  • Open your eyes, and see things as they really are.
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • Quitters never win, and winners never quit.
  • Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Take control of your own destiny.
  • Understand yourself in order to better understand others.
  • Visualize it.
  • Want it more than anything.
  • Xcellerate your efforts.
  • You are unique of all of God’s creations. Nothing can replace you.
  • Zero in on your target and go for it!


This was printed in a newspaper article that I found a few years ago. I saved it because I find it very inspiring. I’ve been working on achieving a lot of my dreams lately, and when I get discouraged I look at this list. It always gives me a boost of confidence that I can do it, as long as I work hard and don’t give up. When I continue to have that enthusiasm for my dream, I know it is what I am meant to do.

If you need inspiration in your life, copy this list and print it out. Keep it on the fridge, the mirror, or anywhere you will see it every day and be encouraged to go for it!

Is there something that you want to do in your life that you haven’t been able to go after but plan to soon?