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24 posts categorized "classes&workshops"

May 29, 2014

Clean & Simple: The Workshop is back! Now as a self-paced class


In 2013 I taught a 12-week workshop designed to help scrapbookers master the hybrid process using Photoshop Elements. I'm excited to announce that Clean & Simple: The Workshop is now available as a self-paced class.

It's the same 12 lessons (with updated files to reflect 2014 and beyond) and you will emerge with a renewed confidence to use your computer as another creative tool in your scrapbooking arsenal. You will work through the lessons at your own pace with forever access to the class materials. The cost of the workshop is $59 but you can save $5 off the registration fee by using the code hybridissexy at checkout. Coupon expires on June 30.

Watch this short video. It says it better than I can write it out. (Well, actually, it says it exactly how I would write it out, because I scripted what I said, but, you know, it's video!)

Clean & Simple: The Self-Paced Workshop from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

For more information, or to register, click here.

Or, if you have any questions, leave me a comment or email me today.


March 07, 2014

Sponsor Giveaway: Digital Artistry from Scrapaneers


THE GIVEAWAY: One blog reader will win a seat in Digital Artistry, a digital painting class with Cilena Curtis.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: If you've ever wanted to paint digitally this is THE class to take! Cilenia will show you how to use a variety of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements brushes, pens, textures, filters and styles to build digital artwork that's printable, scrapable, and giftable. And you don't have to know how, or learn how, to draw! Class begins on April 7 and registration is open now! But you can win a spot.

ABOUT SCRAPANEERS: Scrapaneers provides original and inspiring classes for digital scrapbookers tailored to your digi-crafting skill level. Featuring fun, easy-to-print projects via professional video lessons in interactive classrooms, they offer everything you’ll need to digital scrapbook like a pro!
CONNECT WITH SCRAPANEERS: Classes | Facebook | Free Tutorials
TO ENTER: Tell me the most creative thing you've ever done with Photoshop. Don't be shy, even if you think it isn't all that fancy or creative. I'll choose a winner on Sunday night.
This giveaway is now closed. Check back to see if you're a winner.

January 17, 2014

The True Scrap Pocket Pages event is coming

TSPP logo

My friend and scrapbook inspiration curator extroadinaire Lain Ehmann is bringing a brand new version of True Scrap later this month: True Scrap Pocket Pages.

True Scrap Pocket Pages is THE event for Project Life/pocket scrapbookers! Whether you're new to the concept, or you've been a PL'er from way back, you'll view six incredible classes created specifically to inspire and educate you. And the best part? It's online – LIVE! Yup, on January 25, you'll log in to a state-of-the-art web room where teachers like Stephanie Bryan, Layle Koncar, and Lilith Eeckels will treat attendees to hour-long classes on these topics:

  • Hybrid Hints for Paper People from Traci Reed

  • Pocket Scrapping 101: Back to Basics from Layle Koncar

  • Do You Hear What I Hear? Including Your Family’s Perspectives in Your Pocket Spreads from Marcy Penner

  • KISS: Keep It Simple, Scrappy! Simplifying the Pocket Page Process from Monica McNeil
  • Playing Big: Adding 12×12 photos and layouts to your Pocket Pages Albums from Lilith Eeckels

  • Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Adding Journaling to Your Pocket Pages from Stephanie Bryan

You'll have plenty of time to interact with the instructors live, asking them all your burning pocket scrapbooking questions. And with sponsors including Simon Says Stamp, Gossamer Blue, Project Life, Studio Calico, and Simple Stories, it's going to be an incredibly colorful, creative, and community-filled day. Oh, and everything is recorded so you can go back to watch the replays again and again.

True Scrap Pocket Pages is produced by scrapbook superhero Lain Ehmann, founder of the True Scrap events. To date, she's produced dozens of online virtual events, helping thousands of women find simplicity, inspiration, and fun in their scrapbooking.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save 64% (that's almost $100 off!) on your True Scrap Pocket Pages registration by using coupon code CZ95 at checkout by clicking here. You'll get all six classes, plus replays, plus a pre-event PJ party, plus discounts for only $54—if you sign up by Sunday, Jan. 19.

With over 400 people already registered, this event promises to be a can't-miss educational extravaganza for pocket scrappers. Join in the fun and inspiration now!
Watch Lain's intro video. This looks like a super cool and inspiring event!

October 04, 2013

If you could take a class on anything, what would it be?


And specifically, from me.

I've been knee deep in the hoopla of class development for the past month. The one I'm working on now is a revised version of Move More, Eat Well and I'll have all the details coming in early November.

I also have a handful of other ideas in my brain, but I'm curious to hear from you. I know some of you blog readers have taken my classes over the years (thank you!) and sometimes, I get very insulated in my thinking and forget about stuff I could be developing and teaching.

I would love to hear from you. What would  you like to learn? Also, what length of class works best for  you? Do you like the 12 week courses? The 4 week ones? Self-paced?

I recently signed up for Brené Brown's new e-course and I'll be honest with you: I don't know if I have the time to actually do it right now. I just saw the description and new that my good friend Ali was part of it and wanted to sign up, lest I miss the chance to participate in an Oprah e-course.

Hell, I don't even art journal. But here I go, signing up.

What about you? When you take an online class do you tend to keep up? Do you take your time? How much of your time, ideally, would you like to commit to an online course, say each week, or each month?

I would really appreciate any comments you'd like to share today.

Thank you!


June 03, 2013

Class Junkie?

"...and I also teach scrapbooking classes on the Internet."

This is often part of any sentence whenever I'm asked what I do for a living.

For a lot of people, head scratching ensues, but for those of us who have taken online classes, we just nod knowingly.

I have many students who tell me not only are they repeat students of mine, but they're class junkies in general, and specifically online class junkies.

Personally, I have always wanted to get into taking online classes too, but never seem to either a) complete the class once I sign up, or b) find the time to get my money's worth.

But I recently decided to change all that.

Here's my confession: for a person who makes her primary living as a graphic designer, my skills in Adobe Illustrator border on pathetic. Sure, I can change the colors of a logo (pretty much the only thing I really know how to use it for), or maybe I can create some random shapes, but my skill set is on the exreme end of low.

I recently saw an ad for a class at a site called SkillShare. Have you heard of this place? It's on online learning community where you can, for very affordable prices, learn all manner of things. I saw an ad for a class called, Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator, and the description sounded like just the thing I could use for a leg up on this program. At $20, the price made it even more enticing. So I signed up and dove right in.

At first, I was a little surprised. There were no handouts, and the instructor didn't seem to answer my questions as quickly as, well… as quickly as I like to answer my own students' questions. I wasn't even sure I liked his video style at first (lots of ums and buts in his voice overs.)

But then it happened: I started learning things that I never, ever freaking knew about Illustrator. And I'm talking core things that people should know, but I never did.

And I said outloud: Best $20 I ever spent.

Even though the format wasn't as slick and didn't hold my hand for every step, I felt like I was sitting in the office of a much more talented designer who was very casually telling me, "So this is how you do this."

The class project was to copy a poster design, so I copied the same one the instructor used for his example:


Look ma! I made this in Illustrator! Sure, a few things I still need to tweak, but I learned a ton. Then our instructor told us about another site with cool Illustrator tutorials and through that site I made this:


I know. Get out! The cuteness…

And now I feel like I've got the online class bug. 

Sometimes it's really challenging to find the time to refine and develop skills, and yet I know this is something I really need to make time for to grow and learn in the business of design.

My question for you today is how many of you are online class takers? or bonafide junkies? What appeals to you? What style of instructor makes you feel like you're getting what you need? What are the things that make you keep signing up?

Leave a comment today. I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks to Brad Woodard for a truly enlightening class. I feel pretty energized and inspired to take more!

May 29, 2013



My family spent Memorial Day weekend up in Nisswa at our family cabin. The cabin is a very Instagrammable kind of place.


(That's the Little Cabin, where teens will often hunker down on many a Lake Weekend.)


Sometimes, you'll just see people walking in the lake.


Or drinking in the lake.


Or just plain drinking.


Definitely eating.



Suffice to say, I took more shots with my iPhone than I did with my big old DSLR. 


Phone cameras kind of rock.

Me, on Instagram.



Speaking of phones, in just over a month The Phone Photography Workshop kicks off at Big Picture Classes. This class is 32 days of Android + iPhone ideas, challenges, daily inspiration and app reviews. I contributed a fun little frame project that puts your square format Instagrams to work! To learn more about the class, click here.


April 03, 2013

Looking for some good reads


I recently finished a biography about Kurt Cobain, Heavier Than Heaven.

I started it last Friday, and couldn't seem to put it down in spite of how utterly tragic it was to read.

I come from Kurt Cobain Land, you see. I grew up in a small town in Washington, which at the time was probably not all that different from his coastal town of Aberdeen. He and I were born a year apart, and yet for some reason, I always saw Nirvana as a band of much younger, punk ass kids.

I never felt like he was the voice of my generation at all. But that's probably because I was too busy listening to Frankie Goes to Hollywood and George Michael and R.E.M. Pearl Jam was the closest I ever got to loving grunge. For some reason, Nirvana slipped under my musical radar.

The reason I picked the book up is because Cole is in a big Nirvana phase right now and it has inspired me to actually go back and listen to some of their music.

While I have always been a ginormous fan of Dave Grohl, I am finding a lot of love right now for the music of Mr. Cobain as well.

But his story breaks my heart.

All of this is leading up to the fact that while I'm not a voracious reader by any stretch, I find that biographies are some of my favorite readings.

Which is where you come in: read any riveting biographies lately? And if so, would you care to share your recommendations? 

In other news…

C&S PromoImage

Clean & Simple: The Workshop begins tomorrow. Registration will close on April 10 at 10 p.m. P.S.T.

I'm nervous and excited to get it underway, as I've been working on it for the past three months. I look forward to seeing many of you in class as we dive into the content together. My goal with this workshop is to show people not only how I use software to craft well-designed, timeless pages, but to leave you with the confidence to have an idea for a page and know how to use your computer to help you create what you envision.

This is the only time I will be teaching this class during 2013. Once you sign up, you have permanent access to the course materials, so if time is an issue, don't let that deter you.

Hope to see you there!


March 21, 2013

Clean&Simple Q&A

C&S PromoImage

Clean&Simple: The Workshop kicks off two weeks from today. This class has been a long time in the making, and I'm getting excited to get the ball rolling.

I've been fielding a lot of questions and wanted to put together a quick Q&A for anyone who'd like more information on the class.

Do I need Photoshop to take this workshop? Yes. But technically you only need Photoshop Elements. Photoshop users are welcome, but all of the instruction is offered using PSE 10.

I have Photoshop Elements 11. Will this class work for me? Yes! Just know that PSE 11 has been redesigned so the interface looks different but the functions and key processes remain more or less the same. It might take a little extra finagling, but my goal with this workshop is to really build your understanding of using digital processes to create hybrid pages, so a little extra finagling will only help you to really understand the software.

I am a digital scrapbooker. Is this class designed for me as well? Technically, no, but let me explain: we are creating hybrid pages—pages that start in a digital area but move into the printed world. However, those scrapbookers who only do digital will defintely be able to work through each weekly assignment and gain skill as they go, especially in the latter half of the workshop, where it's less template based and you are challenged to do more ground up design work. That said, this is not a purely digital scrapbooker's class.

Can you tell me more about the assignments for this class? You will have 12 assignments, some are 8.5 x 11 pages, some are 12 x 12 pages, and there's a mini album project, too. Every week we'll have a theme focus and the assignment will include the following components: overall guiding principles, design principles, journaling focuses, photography tips and production techniques. In the latter half of class, there will be a strong emphasis on typography as well, working with a host of free fonts to create beautiful type for your layouts. There is room for interpretation on some of the assignments, but some of the challenges are designed to get you thinking and creating around a predetermined theme.

I'm a complete beginner in Photoshop Elements. Will this class be too much for a newbie? If you've never cracked open the software, I would have to say possibly. That said, there are really only a handful of key processes we use in this class and once you master them, you're going to be really solid in your understanding of this program and process. One thing I plan on telling my students is to remember: Command or Control + Z is your new best friend. As with any new process, it will take time to master. Each week, there is a detailed, step-by-step handout with all of the processes typed out, in addition to our weekly video tutorials. I welcome beginners, but if you're the type of person who gets really stressed out because you don't get something the first time out, it might not be the best time for you to take the class.

I can't take your class right now but am wondering if you are teaching again later in the year? This is the only time I'm teaching the workshop in 2013. 

If you want to know more about my instruction style, I have a channel on Vimeo and you can get a sampling of what my teaching style is like.

If you have any further questions, I'm happy to answer. Leave me a comment or email me at

For more detailed information on the class, click the banner below:

February 11, 2013

Registration is now open for Clean & Simple: The Workshop


Registration is now open for my new 4Experts Class, Clean & Simple: The Workshop.

This 12-week class is all about taking the plunge into the world of hybrid scrapbook page design with me, Cathy Zielske, as your guide and fearless leader.

With Photoshop Elements as your key tool, each week we'll be creating layouts that combine the best of what the digital world can offer to the paper and glue scrapbook realm. 

I've been using my computer from the very start, combining design expertise with meaningful stories and content to develop and refine my style. 

Design + technology + heart. These three things are at the very core of my memory keeping philosophy and approach, and throughout this workshop, I'm going to hopefully inspire you to really immerse yourself in the process I call Clean & Simple.

This class is very different from any I've offered before. Yes, there will be a ton of design education. Yes, there will be a ton of detailed, step-by-step video instruction. But I've always wanted to simply show people how I do what I do. This class gives me the opportunity to do just that.

I've fielded a number of emails asking: I'm a paper scrapper. Is this a class for me? To which I answer: I'm a paper scrapper, too! But what has geeked me out the most about scrapbooking since Day 1 was that I could use my computer to design and create the way I wanted to; that I could use digital tools and yet still be able to cut and paste and play. 

This is not a class with sketches and measurements. This is a class that will challenge you to try new approaches. And hopefully, this is a class that will build your digital skills so that when you have an idea swirling around your brain, you'll be able to put it into action and onto your scrapbook pages.

This is also a class where content and story matter. I believe the opportunity to explore all facets of our lives is one of the coolest aspects of this amazing hobby. In Clean & Simple, we will do just that each week.

I also believe that mastering digital processes opens up a whole world of creative possibilities for the traditional, paper-loving scrapbooker. It's my goal with this workshop to share my knowledge of this process with you.

We're doing 8.5 x 11 pages; we're doing 12 x 12 pages. Each week, regardless of the size, the focus is on processes that will stay with you long after the workshop is over.

Photoshop beginners are welcome to this class—both Mac and PC users. There is a PreClass Video and practice templates awaiting you upon registration. It will give you an overview of the key processes you'll be using. I promise that Photoshop is not scary. You just need to take a deep breath and remember: there's always the Undo Command.

How is this class different from Design Your Life? DYL was broken down into design principles for each week, with corresponding assignments, based in paper scrapbooking with some printable elements. In this class, we break down each assignment from a design standpoint, but the focus will be on using digital tools (computers and Photoshop) to create real-world pages. This class is not about using the photos you have sitting on your scrapbook table. It's about building the page digitally, and breaking it all apart to create truly custom end results. 

There's aren't many supplies needed for this class. A stack of white cardstock, a circle punch, a corner rounder…some basic scrapbooking supplies. That said, you do need to be able to print assignment elements at home, and it's going to be a lot easier if you have the ability to print photos at home as well. Note: if you can't print your photos at home, you will simply order from your usual photo printing service but keep in mind you may not have as much control over the process.

Another bonus in this class: you'll get the opportunity for a private, online screening of a new full-length, yet-to-be-released scrapbooking documentary by film maker Tory Jeffay. The film features me and Stacy Julian, as well as the founder of Creative Memories and other women connected to the industry. 

If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them in the comments today. 

To register, or for more information, click on the banner below!

October 30, 2012

A peek inside the Two Views Workshop + class giveaway


In just over a week, my new Two Views workshop kicks off at Big Picture Classes. This class is all about pairing up with an album buddy—a parent, a child, a best friend, a sister, a partner or spouse—and answering a series of thought-provoking questions. The goal is to present a she said/she said (or he said) type of a scrapbook that shows where you both are in life, what you think and how you see the world.

I chose to make this album with my lovely 16-year-old daughter Aidan, and now that it's done, I keep thinking this is something she and I will seriously love to look back on as the years progress. What she thought at 16 and what I thought at 46… how different will we view our lives and ourselves in 10 years, or 20, or more?

Today I wanted to share one set of pages from the album. Of the 15 prompts you can choose from, one of my favorites is "How We Are Different." Every time Aidan finished one of her pages and gave it to me, I really did savor reading what she wrote. To read her voice and see her choice of a photograph, well, it warmed this scrapbooking mama's heart to say the least. Here's a peek at the two pages we did for this album project.

Note: click on each image to see the page larger in a new window.



Aidan found an old photo of me and her from when she was just about three to use on her page. Sigh. Gotta tell you: that one melts me every time.

This album project is really more about the words than having the perfect photos to illustrate every point, although it was fun to dig through my photo collection and select photos I thought would best work with my entries.

Each spread in this album project looks exactly like what you see above. You alternate your patterned papers, add printable monograms, photos and journaling.

The other part of the class is solid instruction for both Word and Photoshop Elements users. Beginners are definitely welcome and will find the step-by-steps clear and easy to follow. It's a true hybrid scrapbooking project that lets you combine the best of computer technology and traditional scrapbooking. (Note: fully layered PSD files are included for digital scrapbookers.)

Your album partner doesn't have to be a scrapbooker. Heck, you can get them to do the writing and offer up the photos, and you can assemble all of the pages yourself. For example, I'd love to do this project with my hubby, but I wouldn't really expect him to bust out the Hermafix and go to town on the assembly.

To learn more about the class or to sign up, click here.


NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY Today I'm giving away two spots in this class and tonight I will choose the winners after 7 p.m. CST. All you have to do is tell me who you would consider doing this album project with, were you to win the spot in class. Good luck, and I'll choose two winners tonight.

This giveaway is now closed. Please check back to see if you're a winner.