Monday, October 18, 2010


We all have many specialized tools that we use in our crafting, and I think we most likely love each of them. It is wonderful to know that the right tool can make us more effective at developing our creations - and especially fun to know that tools on hand can make fabulous art! The BBEST team certainly uses their tools well to develop arts and crafts, and bring amazing skill to their creations - as anyone who browses ETSY with the BBEST tag can see.

One unexpected tool that I can't live without in my crafting is Adobe Photoshop Elements. This is a less expensive version of the Adobe Photoshop, and has been sufficient for many different aspects of digital crafting - as well as helping me manipulate pictures and do online marketing and blog work. Even this "limited capability" software package is very powerful, and despite being able to do some standard photo manipulation I really didn't know how to take advantage of the capabilities of the package. Too many papers to read, too many complex concepts.

Then I found Jessica Sprague. Jessica Sprague is an online scrapbook instructor, and she teaches digital scrapbooking leveraging Adobe's products, among others. I want to introduce you to Jessica's courses - even though they are scrapbook oriented - because they provide some amazing advantages.

First, the online classes are provided for you to take in your own time and schedule. I took about 6 courses (about 8 classes per course) before everything was over, and did about one class session each week.

Second, the classes include a video that you can pause and resume at your leisure, where Jessica shows you every single step of what she is doing with Photoshop. I had the video up and running on my computer in one window, and had Photoshop Elements up in another window. I could stop the video and follow the instructions, restarting when I was ready to go on to the next step.

Third, the classes are available in a variety of formats. For example, I learned with Photoshop Elements, but you can take the classes with Photoshop as well. Even if you take the courses leveraging one format, you can come back later and go through them in the other format, free of charge!

Fourth, the classes are available to you FOREVER. So you can come back to them years after taking them to review a particular concept or remind yourself how things work.

Finally, the classes provide lots of free downloads that give you additional digital materials to work with and even extra support capabilities with Photoshop and associated tools.

I really recommend these digital classes, even though scrapbooking may not be your cup of tea. They are a great way to learn how to get around Photoshop if you are not already super strong with the tool set, and they certainly help to improve your photo handling capabilities as well as give you creative ideas for more!

The classes that I found most informative were Up and Running with Photoshop, Now We're Rockin' with Photoshop, and Digi In Deep.

Leveraging some of the things I learned, I was able to pull together a couple different tributes to the BBEST team's Autumn offerings - and as they say, the possibilities are endless!

Autumn comes alive through the work of the BBEST team, and inspires us to find great gifts to share with all our loved ones. Happy Fall!

These two tribute displays showcase work from the following shops - Asian Expressions, Big Island Rose Designs, ZudaGay, SixSisters, Beth Peardon Productions, PFD Original Art Work, The Creator's Palette, the Knotty Sheep, Aroma Fields, Designs by Christine, and Bags 'N More by Pam.


yankeegirl said...

Ooooh, almost missed this one!! Thanks for the great info!

Fused Glass said...

this is cool!