Confessions of a Class Junkie | #30Lists + BPC Classes at the Nerd Nest

I love an opportunity to learn something. Even though I have a certain amount of expertise in the field of scrapbooking (well, enough to warrant teaching classes anyway), there’s always more knowledge to absorb. As the wonderful Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” So the way I see it, I’ll never know enough about anything to stop taking classes or learning from others. It’s this mindset, perhaps, that has turned me into a class junkie.

I love classes, workshops, and ebooks because they give me ideas I wouldn’t have been lead to on my own. I love them because they support creative people I like. I love them because they get the wheels in my brain spinning. Most of all, I love them because they motivate me to do stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Three cheers for all of those things.

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).

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.)

Take on an assignment from Scrapbook Outside the Pocket with Monica Bradford | The Nerd Nest

Take on an assignment from Scrapbook Outside the Pocket with Monica Bradford | The Nerd Nest

The brand new-to-me class I’m taking is Scrapbook Outside the Pocket with Monica Bradford. This class is all about using pocket scrapbooking supplies (those 3×4 and 4×6 cards from Project Life and similar systems). I’m a little more than obsessed with Project Life, but I also enjoy making traditional pages. I’m excited for a class dedicated to combining the two!

I used the first assignment to create a page about Jonas’s birth. I’m using a combination of layouts and Project Life spreads to tell his birth story, and this page fills a gap. I’ve had the background paper slipped into a page protector with this photo for months, just waiting to be scrapped! The idea to do hidden journaling along with layered cards was just the inspiration I needed.

Tip: I went back through my blog archives for the journaling on this layout. I love that the blog can be a placeholder for stories, even if I don’t document them for several years afterward!

After just tuning in to the first week of content, I’m really enjoying the quality of this class. I was impressed that the class not only has takes from Monica, but also bonus tips from contributors in handouts. I love getting to see multiple styles and takes at work.

If Scrapbook Outside the Pocket sounds like it’s up your alley, don’t wait: registration closes March 12.

#30Lists in Project Life | 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 my first ten lists:

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Ways to add magic to my life:

  • Awe of nature
  • Make something from nothing
  • Harry Potter
  • Play & Pretend
  • Read Fantasy
  • Learn from extrodinary people
  • Make out w/ Jake

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

How I would describe myself to a penpal:

  • nerdy
  • crafty
  • mama
  • avid reader
  • sociology buff
  • blogger
  • scrapbooker
  • foodie
  • city mouse
  • reader
  • logical
  • solicitious
  • life documenter

*I also should have put terrible speller. That’s something a penpal would need to know upfront!

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

My ideal day…

  • Wake up rested
  • Start with coffee
  • Go on an adventure with my family
  • Read in quiet
  • Spend time creating
  • Get in snuggles
  • Learn something new
  • Talk with friends
  • Eat something incredible
  • Laugh with my kids
  • Fall asleep in Jake’s arms

*I feel like this one is a little mushy, but hey Kam and Amy, you asked.

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Favorite tools to create with:

  • camera
  • pen & paper
  • intellect
  • hands
  • computers
  • Project Life stuff
  • paint
  • fabric
  • food
  • scissors
  • plants
  • wood
  • Whatever happens to be lying around!

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Favorite fictional couples:

  • 10 + Rose
  • Wash + Zoe
  • Willow + Tara
  • Lyra + Will
  • Han + Leia
  • Phil + Claire
  • Jon + Ygritte
  • Dr. Horrible + Penny
  • Yvaine + Tristan
  • Meg + Calvin
  • Astrid + Paul
  • Zia + Mikal
  • Katniss + Peeta
  • Monica + Chandler
  • The Narrator + Marla

*It is hard to tell from the super long list, but this one was the hardest for me. I challenged myself to stick with romantic couples, because most romantic couples in literature / media actually make me kind of angry.

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Projects I’m in the middle of…

  • #30Lists
  • Project Life Feb
  • Class content w/ Kristin
  • Spring Cleaning
  • Favorite books re-read
  • WHM books
  • Blog re-design

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Favorite childhood games/ tasks:

  • scrubbing the kitchen floor w/ a toothbrush (WHY???)
  • pretending to be in Newsies / Oliver! / Lost Boys / Hook
  • Putting on plays / dances / the circus w/ Beth
  • playing “store”
  • Guess Who
  • Yatzi
  • Monopoly

*Some of these deserve full scrapbook pages with long stories. This list gave me so many ideas!

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

How I feel today:

  • joyful
  • relaxed
  • refreshed
  • fortunate
  • sunny
  • elated

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Keep Calm &

  • trust the Doctor
  • take a walk outside
  • do yoga
  • do breathing exercises
  • hug

*I struggle with anxiety, so other than the Whovian joke, all of these are actual ways to calm down.

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

If I RULED the world…

  • The democratically elected world ruing body would actually operate under the Just War Theory.
  • I’d just be the head of the executive branch of a balanced gov’t
  • Human rights & social justice would be priority


I loved the first ten lists and I’m ready for the next 20! I’m starting in on the pretty warmed colored cards now. 30 Days of Lists is already underway, but you can jump in any time. My first time listing, I started at the end of the month, did the last few lists the day they were posted, and then filled out the other ones later. You could also batch list these ones if you’d like!

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

The best class I took last year, and maybe ever (academia aside), was Ali Edward’s Hello Story. It’s running again this spring as one of Big Picture’s big 4Expert classes, which means it is 12 weeks long and packed to the brim. Each week, Ali introduces a new storytelling concept with three of her takes on the concept plus a Project Life example. I love storytelling classes the most, and this one is one I go back to again and again because each storytelling technique gives me so many ideas! I had way more ideas during the first run than time to execute them (I stuck with doing one layout a week), so I’m looking forward to going through and doing additional takes.

I created this layout as one of the Week 6 assignments, which was all about 6 word stories. I used the concept for my title, and then used additional “bubbles” for journaling about my Middle School summers on swim team. Even though this is a happy memory, it’s a little difficult for me to scrapbook these types of things because they’re so tied to people painfully not in my life anymore. I do it anyway, honoring the good memories with those people and how thankful I am for the positive parts they played in my life. I feel like I’m rambling, but I think it’s good to note that happy memories can be tied up with bad ones and scrapbooking can be therapeutic.

Tip: Don’t have enough letter stickers to carry you through your title? The letters I used (by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts and now unavailable) had thin outlines around each letter that remained on the sticker sheet. I cut out the extra letters I needed and used the background bit too!

Tip: The background behind the title and photo was the back of sticker packaging! Before you throw packaging away, give it a second glance (and maybe a second chance!).

Hello Story begins April 3, 2013. Registration closes April 9.

Scraproom before Organizing Fundamentals with Aly  Dosdall | The Nerd Nest

Lastly, I’m going through Organizing Fundamentals, which I took last year and isn’t re-running at this time. I need this organization class badly, because this is what my workspace looks like currently. All of my most used stuff is pretty much were I need it, but the floor is a problem. Jake and I moved things around last December and I still haven’t gotten this space figured out. The class really helped me to go through to purge and reorganize last year and I’m hoping that it will do the trick again. I love that multiple solutions and ideas are offered, so things that might not have jumped out at me last year (because I didn’t need them then) might be totally relevant now. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I should also note that this is a little ironic, as I shared my tips on how I organize my scrap space on the blog in the Organizing Fundamentals classroom. No worries; that’s all still relevant. My Project Life stuff is under control. It’s fitting the other stuff into my new (but very similar) space that’s the problem.

I’d love to know what classes you’re taking or some of your past favorites! Also, I’m thinking about making this a regular thing (sharing classwork), but if it is annoying or feels like an infomercial or something, let me know and I’ll re-route. Seriously.

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