Confessions of a Class Junkie Vol. 2 | The Nerd Nest

I take a lot of classes, and after the success of sharing the first installment of things born out of my addiction, I decided to make sharing a regular thing.

Today I’m sharing my takes on four classes I’m doing right now. Two of them are running now and two of them ran last year, but are about to start up again. (I love things with forever access.)

5 More Minutes | The Nerd Nest

5 More Minutes | The Nerd Nest

5 More Minutes | The Nerd Nest

I took Ali Edward‘s Hello Story last year, and it’s my favorite out of all of the classes I’ve ever taken. I’m still going back and doing takes from the 12 storytelling structures because Ali’s method of teaching these structures (including 3 layout takes and one Project Life take for every structure) provides pretty much endless inspiration. The next run of the class starts April 3.

This page was for Week 4 of the class. I picked up a few $10 past Studio Calico kits with coupon codes in the free National Scrapbook Day “10K” event at BPC. When I opened the Cuppa Kit and saw the clock paper, I knew that I had to use it for Week 4 and had an instant story idea. When Jake and I were dating as teenagers, we’d always say “five more minutes” when it was time to head back home so we’d get there in time for curfew. It’s a cute thing we did, and we even have a print in our room referencing it. I don’t know why I’d never documented the story before!

I decided to stick with just the Cuppa kit and to scraplift one of Ali’s Week 4 layouts, so this whole cute page came together in about 10 minutes. Giving yourself fewer choices is a great way to get some creativity in if you’re low on time.

Tip: Jake and I don’t have a ton of photos of us together from when we were dating, so I’ve already used this photo on a page. It’s fine to reuse photos to tell different stories!

Monocromatic Newborn Layout | The Nerd Nest

Monocromatic Newborn Layout | The Nerd Nest

Monocromatic Newborn Layout | The Nerd Nest

I’m currently working on a top secret layout for Aly Dosdall‘s Stashbusters Anonymous. The class, which is re-running starting April 10th, focuses on using up your stash and has so many great ideas to inspire you to use those products you’ve been hoarding. One of the features of the class is a private blog, and this run will have all new content. I’m working on a layout for the private class blog, but Aly said I could share the layout I did for the private blog the last run of the class! I’m glad, because it’s one of my favorite layouts ever.

For Jonas’s baby pages (which are housed in our family yearly albums), I’ve been making a mix of traditional and pocketed pages. For this traditional / pocket page combo double page layout, I busted through my stash by using a monochromatic color scheme. I love how all of the white products add a lot of little details to look at on the page, but the focal point is still very much on the special photos.

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen that I’ve been joining in with 30 Days of Lists daily. It’s been very easy to keep up with daily listing because I made the base pages ahead of time, so all I’m doing everyday is adding a label with the list title and writing away! Here are lists 11-20:

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

When I need to focus I…

  • Do yoga
  • Go somewhere quiet
  • Close all of the tabs
  • Do a thought purge
  • Organize / clean my space
  • Ask for someone to hang out w/ the kids
  • Just start

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Things I always do for myself:

  • Make coffee in the morning
  • Record what I want to remember
  • Read every day
  • Learn new things
  • Curate my environment
  • Spend time just thinking

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Things about Grammy & Poppy’s house on 106th:

  • I loved the trees: the smell of the black walnut in the front, the climbing tree with a horizontal limb to the South, the tall trees dropping acorns, the line of them from the woods in the back.
  • The covered well was dangerous & scary
  • The valleyish hill was perfect for sledding
  • Daddy long legs danced by the sliding door to the porch
  • Poppy built a two level deck: the top accessed the house & the bottom: the above ground pool

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Favorite treats when I’m traveling:

  • Beef jerky (teriyaki)
  • Plenty of water
  • Something sweet
  • Something salty
  • Portable fruit (apples, blueberries, bananas, etc.)
  • Izzy
  • PB&Js
  • Crackers

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Things I’ve only bought once in my life:

  • a car
  • a house
  • a marriage license
  • beets
  • a record player
  • hair drier

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

To do this week…

  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
  • Spring Break!
  • Buy groceries
  • Do projects with the kids
  • Read Harry Potter 5 to Eliza
  • Do a kid swap w/ Steph

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

People I want to be when I grow up…

  • Poppy
  • Ali Edwards
  • Kurt Vonegut
  • bell hooks
  • Molly Weasley
  • An older version of me

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Where I take out of town guests:

  • The Filling Station or City Market Coffee
  • The Nelson
  • Science City
  • d’Bronx pizza
  • First Fridays
  • Events (concert, Comicon, openings, etc.)
  • Mostly everyone just flocks to the Nerd Nest

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

“Pins” to try

  • Sock seed experiment
  • Table tent
  • Cool planters
  • Biscuits
  • Chicken wellington
  • Death Star globe
  • Galexy marquee art
  • Painted can hangers

#30Lists in #projectlife | The Nerd Nest

Eliza, when I was your age (8)…

  • I loved Goosebumps & Animorphs
  • I went to 3 different schools & was very shy
  • I had just met my dad

First Day of First Grade | The Nerd Nest

First Day of First Grade | The Nerd Nest

First Day of First Grade | The Nerd Nest

Lastly, I’m currently taking Monica Bradford‘s Scrapbook Outside the Pocket (registration for which is now closed). This class has loads of inspiration, but it’s my goal to create a layout a week with the content in there for now. For Week 2, I documented Eliza’s First Day of First Grade. This was a gap in my 2012 album I’ve been avoiding, because I couldn’t quite figure out how to make all of the photos and journaling work on a design. I ended up using Monica’s “T-design” as inspiration and adding on a second pocketed insert to continue the story. I know this class is about going outside of the pocket, but sometimes a pocket insert can be just the extension a traditional page needs.

Tip: If you don’t have quite enough room for a full title with letter stickers, try mixing letter stickers and handwriting. This works especially well for including smaller handwritten words like articles or for putting the focus on one word in a title with letter stickers while minimizing the impact of the other words in the title.

Eli and the Vibrating Chair | The Nerd Nest

Eli and the Vibrating Chair | The Nerd Nest

Eli and the Vibrating Chair | The Nerd Nest

For my Week 3 take for Scrapbook Outside the Pocket, I went a little bit outside of my comfort zone and used more colors and patterns than I usually would. It was fun to build a background out of journaling and filler cards to house all of the words and embellishments I wanted to include.

Tip: Enlarging and matting a photo helps to keep it from getting lost when you have a busy page background.

I’d love to know what classes you’re taking or some of your past favorites!


Here’s the deal: because I have friends who teach things and because I teach at Big Picture Classes, I get to take classes for free sometimes. Not that I don’t ever pay for classes. One Little Word, for example, is something I’ll always shell out the dough for. But sometimes: free. So I end up taking more classes at once than I would if I were paying for them. I’d want to make sure I had time to do ALL of the projects in a given class vs. dipping in here and there if I were working within my crafting budget, so I’d probably limit myself to three or less at a time. But as it is, I don’t need to do that, so keep that in mind. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to be taking a stressful amount of classes. Choose classes based on what you think will be the most inspiring or the best fit for you (and your budget).