Episode 18 The Super Listener

Join Steph, Katie, Peppermint, and Ronnie Crowley as we discuss online classes of all kinds; from different programs to photography and managing all of that information.

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You can download the show by right clicking and saving this link.

Joining the Discussion:
Katie Nelson
Peppermint Granberg
Ronnie Crowley

Support Our Sponsors:


Capture Your Holidays
use this coupon code to get 10% off any class: TDSINNOV

The only place in digital scrapbooking where you get over $50 worth of product each month you are a member.

Picks of The Week:
Ronnie: Katie’s Actions with Wendyzine
Peppermint: Adobe Touch Apps

Katie: picfull.com
Steph: Photo365

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53 Responses to Episode 18 The Super Listener

  1. Deb says:

    Just giving you a heads up re unable to listen to the the show. Keep getting an error message when I click on play.
    Will be back real soon to try again. Wouldn’t miss your show for quids.

  2. Deb says:

    Yay….coming through loud and clear!

  3. Kelsey Brown says:

    I haven’t listened yet, but I though I would post this real quick. I love the group here and I really wanted to make sure you all knew about this.

    I want to invite you all to join me on my blog for my “100 Things I Am Thankful For” series. Information is up on http://storysaving.blogspot.co… now, but the actual event starts on Saturday morning. I would love to have you all join me.

  4. Heddy says:

    There’s one less coupon code available – because I just signed up for Katrina Kennedy’s Capture Your Holidays class!

    I was very close to trying a December Daily-style album this year, but got cold feet. Too much work in an already busy month, for me. Then I thought I’d try a December Photo-A-Day challenge. Again, the pressure was too much! But then I heard about this class and its focus on taking better holiday photos and I thought – that’s it! That’s for me! I might not take a photo a day, but at least the ones I do take can be better quality! ;)

    Happy scrapping, ladies!

  5. Kelly says:

    I’m hoping for a little help from the community on finding a digi product. I’m looking for a frame that will mimic the rounded corners of instagram photos. I love the look of the frames on gluestickgirl’s small Project Life photos and wanted to just add a black or white rounded corner frame to regular pix.

    Thanks for any ideas! Love the show!

  6. linda says:

    I really love taking classes – as Katie noted, anytime anywhere – makes it great for those of us with less regular schedules. I’ve taken a variety of classes online, not just scrapbooking…and I think it’s important to find teachers you like and communities that you like. Everyone has a different way of learning and there are so many styles and ways to lead a class. Someone needs to create a site that reviews or collects opinions about all online classes (Amazon style!) so at least people can get an idea of what it’s like :)

  7. It was great to see a listener participate I’m a regular but don’t comment a lot, but I do send here and there twiits.(Jana_NJ) I also took tons of classes the problem is that when you’re a beginner you just get on every single class out there expecting a lot and than getting frustrated. I think as we mature in the hobby we start to learn to really choose what classes work for us and recognizing what kind of classes will give what we expect. I think Lynda and kelbytraining is a great example of that and I was glad you guys pointed that out because they are more towards people that design or maybe just want manipulate photos, I think to me today I learned that I don’t want classes that tell me what to do or imitate their project like going to a class and every single student leaving with the same layout, but rather today after many years I prefer things that make me think outside the box, learn the skill and move on and recognize my style.
    I took Peppermint class now that I just got CS5 which I’m still learning after working so many years with PSE and thought that she did a great job explaining well her choices and why she does what she does so you have 2 options follow exact the measurements she does or learn why she does that.
    So great discussion . Also would like to say I also use Momento which captures everything you do everyday photos with instagram, facebook, twitter and puts everything in a calendar which makes daily documentation easy .

  8. Kelly says:

    I loved Peppermint’s comment about Drinking the Kool-aid! I’m all in!
    I’ve been digi-scrapping since 2006. I started at Scrappers Guide with thier Premier Membership and I’m still a member! I looked for classes back then and there really weren’t any good classes on how to digiscrap. I learned by following free on-line tutorials (DSP was one of the first to have free tut’s) then I bought a few books and magazines. I have a 3 inch binder full of tutorials on how to do various things in PSE. When I bought CS4 I got a membership to Lynda.com and followed every Deke McClelland tutorial he recorded for CS4! New digi-scrappers are so lucky that there are so many classes to choose from these days! Katie, I’m looking forward to seeing you in Tiffany’s class at Renee Pearson. I also took Anna’s Album Magic class last December and because of that class I was able to get my first bound book finished and printed. (My username is mom2bandc at reneepearson.com – See you in the forum!)

  9. Teresa says:

    I loved hearing about classes. When I first started to digi scrap I tried to learn by myself through different tutorials and video’s that were free. While I did learn some things, it also left me feeling very frustrated because there was so much I still did not know. Since then I have taken a few classes which has helped a lot and I would recomend taking a class to anyone starting out. I can also feel overwhelmed by any long classes, so sometimes a short lesson is nice to learn specific techniques (such as ones by Cassie Jones). I prefer self paced classes because I often can not keep up with classes, and I like being able to sign up for classes at anytime since it is not always in the budget at the time a class is being offered.

    And for anyone interested in Katrina’s class, Anna Aspnes is offering a great discount on an album template pack for anyone registered for the class. It looks like an awsome class and it is on my list for next year.

  10. Amy says:

    i enjoyed the show this week. i’ve been a student in a lot of online classes and could very much relate to many of the comments. it was totally fun to hear all the classes you have taken that i have too. it would be interesting if you had a show about classes from the teacher’s perspective. how do they come to be, who initates the classes at the different sites, are there requirements on how the content is delivered, what makes some self-paced/not…

  11. Yum! A program about classes. This class-aholic loved it. I smiled when I heard Ronnie talking about LOAD. That was the class that really pushed me to digi! It was wonderful to grab a quick page or simple layered template and get it done that day. My paper scrapping is often painfully slow. I guess I was a class pet in that class. Many times I do NOT do all the assignments in classes, especially the photography ones (these seem to be scheduled when I’m up to my eyeballs in other activities), though BPC’s ‘Picture the Holidays’ was one I did complete and because of this felt really good about it. I do love the chats, even the ones where we discuss what we had for dinner. I have made some wonderful friends on-line so I always like an opportunity to find kindred spirits! I’ve taken most of the workshops on BPC and many of the self paced classes. I love the ease of getting around that site. I find Renee Pearson’s site slightly harder to get around but the professional quality of the classes is superb! I have learned a lot of good art principles from Noelle Hyman’s twice monthly professional video productions at Paperclipping though that is more a show about design, than a class. I adore Debbie Hodge’s Get It Scrapped and Masterful Scrapbook Design sites. Just getting into Jessica’s classes, so no opinion yet. While I have loved some classes at My Creative Classroom (not digi), I try hard to avoid the site. It is very poorly designed and you HAVE to download all the class materials because the classes are not retained for you (though you can repeat a class you have previously taken for free). It would not be so bad to download the classes if there was a consistent nomenclature to the site. You know how bad we all are at organizing our photos, supplies, data. A consistent nomenclature on a site can help a lot. I love classes at LSS and some big events like Spark3 and CKU which have introduced me to a lot of new art forms. I took an in-person photography class with Erin Manning which was spectacular. I would really, really love to take more small photo classes. Art classes, especially collage,can help a lot to learn design principles that can really translate to scrapbooking. Claudine Hellmuth teaches great workshops. One’s local junior college can offer a lot of good classes in solid principles of photography, art and graphic and computer design as well as journaling and teaching. I really think some jr colleges should offer certificate programs in scrapbooking. While some current classes are great, we might feel more confident about classes from well trained folk! Not all artists are good teachers. Now, unlike Peppermint, I like teachers who repeat the basics. Reinforcing concepts really helps me learn. I, also, feel sure I’m not missing something. I hate to try something and get frustrated because I did not do a simple step I should have remembered!

  12. Shannan says:

    I’ve taken quite a few on-line classes too – love them! (mostly at Big Picture and Get It Scrapped). At the start of this year, I decided to stop buying scrapbook magazines (I used to buy one or two every month) and use that money on classes instead. I found this was a much better use of my time and money and I actually get something at the end – either a layout or some new skill.

  13. I just read over my comment and it made me think of something. Adopting a standardized nomenclature for digi kits might be useful. For example Designer name or ID, Kit name and then a standardized abreviation for parts of a kit like LCA (lower case alpha), QP (quick page), TMP1photoa, TMP2photo-a, TMP2photo-b (templates) etc. It would be useful to have a comprehensive listing of how parts should be named and organized. Then, a designer could follow that standardized naming even if the design only included a quick page or a group of templates or overlays. Think of how easy it would be to locate things. A really comprehensive nomenclature could even itemize common design elements like ribbons, staples, buttons, etc. and might even include a date for kits that get re-released in an updated manner. Nope, I’m not going to do this! But, I’d love to see it!

    • Karen – a lot of the designers use their own system of naming them. So when I’m looking for a specific designer even though I haven’t got designer folders I can see them in my file structure as they all start with the same. I recently added designer tags in my organisation system and this is how I went backwards to attach the tag.

    • Sue says:

      I would like to see this as well Karen.

  14. coffeebabs says:

    Enjoyed the show (No surprise there!). I have just started checking into classes online. Your timing was perfect. I can see how a person could become addicted! I downloaded a free class from Big Picture Classes called “Embrace Imperfection” by Karen Grunberg. It is a really helpful class for me as I tend to be a perfectionist, as it sounds like a lot of “digiters” (is that even a word?) are. It is also helpful coming into this craft with so many choicesto choose from. It can be quite overwhelming. As my one year “digi” anniversary comes up in January, I am looking back and celebrating how far I have come and trying not to focus on how much I have to learn. Not knowing anything about digital scrapbooking until I did a photo album for my husband for Christmas last year to being pretty comfortable with PSE and making (and printing) quite a few pages. Before kids, I was proficient on different programs, but things change so fast, that I was a little intimated at first. I love to know and hear that you all still have such a love for the digiscrapping craft even after doing it for a few years. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to do this podcast. You are such an encouragement!

  15. Melissa says:

    Just a little comment about books for digiscrappers

    I have to say I’ve had quite a few people ask me if I have a book on digital scrapbooking… so maybe there would be a market for one? Or at least an ebook? It is so hard to keep it up to date though, so the ‘real’ 250 page print book is a little unrealistic

    Especially people who don’t have lots of bandwidth (eg travelling around the country in a campervan) are still interested in a book rather than a video series.

    • LeslieM says:

      The Digital Scrapbook Teacher has a book on Photoshop Elements Basics and Beyond. (PSE9) It involves photo editing, organizing and digital scrapbooking. It’s a nice thorough reference book and is 384 pages long.

      • LeslieM says:

        Plus there are Jessica Sprague’s Computer Tricks for Scrapbookers special edition CK magazines which are out of print but still full of good ideas which can be adapted to newer editions of photoshop.

  16. Melissa says:

    Oh my Peppermint – I LOVE Deke – but I don’t have a Lynda membership.

    Deke’s pretty quick on going through the shortcuts I think – I’ve learnt heaps from him. Mordy is pretty awesome too – again I listened to the Martini Hour podcast before I watched any of their tutorials.

    It’s a fine line between being repetitive and helpful for newbies and at least Deke sounds awake during his tutorials, unlike some other tutorials I’ve seen where the presenter sounds like death warmed up!

    Each to their own!

    • Peppermint says:

      I do learn a lot, so obviously he’s great. My problem is really my impatience – it’s a real obstacle for me in every area of life. LOL When I know something, I get frustrated hearing it. Just ask my husband.

  17. Mandy says:

    I’ll be Peppermint’s unpaid intern. I bake gluten-free biscuits and cake most weeks. I’m in the UK, though, so they might not be fresh by the time they reach Granberg Towers. Also, I’ll need a particularly long-handled loo brush to clean Peppermint’s toilet.

    (Translations: biscuit = cookie, loo = toilet, unpaid intern = slave.)

    On the topic of classes, I have a question about adapting them for use with other programs. I run Linux and use The GIMP but many classes state the need for Photoshop/Elements. I’m never sure if that means you have to use that software or if it’s merely an assumption that you will use it. In general, would I be safe taking these classes and just working out any major PS/GIMP differences?

    Cheers, Mandy.

    • Peppermint says:

      We actually call it “One Little Bird World Headquarters”. Hah!

      (translations: one little bird world headquarters = the sunroom off the back of our house that no one was using)

    • Katie says:

      “Granberg Towers” – that is just awesome!

      • Mandy says:

        I picture you all in grand surroundings. Nelson Manor, I’m sure, is a very fine establishment where the servants and family live in perfect harmony. And Steph must have a hi-tech, subterranean Digi Lair, somewhere to plot her domination of the Digi world.

        Talking of world domination: Pinterest has grown 2000% in less than six months, is this the Digi Effect?

    • tawyn says:

      Hi Mandy,
      I’m a GIMP girl too and have done a number of classes that say you need Elements or Photoshop (because that’s the software that is pushed). I did know my program pretty well before trying to take classes so that I knew the work-arounds when things were different, but google is a big help if you aren’t sure how to do something in Gimp.

      Main thing I’ve found you need to know, is how to make Gimp do layer masks as it is harder and many lessons use them.

      I’ve just started on Peppermint’s “Me & my Shadow” class and unfortunately Gimp doesn’t “linear burn”, our burn uses a completely different formula but that just one small part of a very interesting class.
      So I ignore the “must have Elements or photoshop” line and just go for it knowing there may be some little things that I can’t do.

      • Mandy says:

        Thanks tawyn.

        I’ve been thinking about Peppermint’s class, particularly after Katie said that it was easy enough to use with Elements.

        The problem with (almost) all of the classes stating the need for PS is that you don’t know if a particular class is heavily PS-specific or not. If the tutor only ever uses PS, they wouldn’t know that distinction either so I’m not criticising. I’ve been using The GIMP for many years and would be exactly the same but in reverse.

        Time to take the plunge, though; I’ll have a crack at _Me & My Shadow_ and go on from there.

        Cheers, Mandy.

        • Katie says:

          There will be some settings that you can’t use in PSE in Peppermint’s class, but you can easily adapt a lot of the info to work in Elements. Peppermint’s the shadow master!

          • Mandy says:

            I’ve just finished my first pass of the course and I thought it was great. It requires a bit of tinkering to get the same/similar results with The GIMP but there’s more than enough info in there to make it worth the effort. Actually, there was far more to the class than I’d expected for the cost and I love Peppermint’s sense of humour so that added to the enjoyment. Now I need to run through it again and start using the techniques on a real page (by the time I’d played with all the settings/etc my test page looked like Dr Frankenstein had created it).

      • Mandy says:

        [Just re-read my previous post and I’m not sure that I expressed myself very well — apologies for that.]

        tawyn: Do you use the Layer Effects script ( http://registry.gimp.org/node/186 ) or the Drop Shadow option in the Filters|Light&Shadow menu?

        • tawyn says:

          Sorry I didn’t spot this sooner – I’ve just been using the ordinary drop shadows under filter, but I had downloaded the script ages ago when I wanted to mess with shadow angles & do embossing.

          Think I’ll start using it all the time now as I’ve found a work around for “Linear Burn” after playing around with the class again tonight.

          The formula for linear burn is the inverse of the subtract blend mode – so if you use a light-medium blue (eg.9cc7fc) instead of a dark brown to do the shadow along with the subtract blend mode it comes out as linear burn. (Complicated I know!!)
          Going to blog it with a picture tomorrow (getting very late) here: http://bowesclan.wordpress.com/

  18. LeslieM says:

    In addition to my print resources, I’ve taken many classes and frequently use the coupon from the show to get a discount. I’m really enjoying Kayla’s Finding Photo Flow class right now and have learned a TON about Lightroom from her. I’m signed up for Capture Your Holidays and Tiffany’s class at Renee Pearson’s site. I took Katie’s Power Scrapping class and immediately adopted some of her techniques to make my work flow go faster. I’m trying to stick to a scrapping budget in 2012 and strike a balance between classes and buying supplies. Many times the product received in class downloads almost offsets the price of the class. Seeing what comes in class downloads is almost like Christmas! :D

  19. Jayne says:

    This is off topic but I was wondering if anyone is aware of what Scott Kelby has pointed out?


    This is very interesting for a lot of people and I hope Adobe changes the plan. I would love to hear what others think of it.

    I have CS4 and the only reason I got it was because I was a student for a short time and I thought I would take advantage of the student price. The problem is that I hardly know anything in photoshop, I’m a real beginner. I’m thinking that if I have to upgrade to upgrade that I will probably go to PSE10 instead. I also use Lightroom so I don’t think I will miss much in PS that PSE can’t do.

    What do others think? I hope this wasn’t covered in the episode (I’m just getting to it)

    • Jayne says:

      Sorry – probably inappropriate to post here. Just not sure where to put it to get some opinions. Please remove if it shouldn’t be here.

  20. Adrienne in Hong Kong says:

    I loved this show, because I love to take on-line classes. Not too many local classes here in Hong Kong. I am totally like Ronnie – I must do the assignments as I go or they don’t get done. I had to chuckle because I too took Cathy Zielske’s “Me, the Abridged Version” and I am half way through the journaling. I also took Steph’s “Book of Awesome” class and because it was so short, got as far as downloading it!

    Question – do you know of any classes that would teach me the basics (and more advanced methods) of journaling in PSE? I am a hybrid scrapper and do lots of journaling on the computer. I find Word incredibly difficult to position the text boxes where I want them, so I am using PSE. Any ideas would be useful.

    I have done a few digital mini albums and I like the idea that I can do paper, hybrid and digital scrapping. It just depends upon where I am, the project and my mood. I love your podcast and listen to you religiously every week. Thanks for all your efforts


  21. sarahdg says:

    Good show! I haven’t taken too many classes yet. I bought one at BPC, but it turned out to be not quite what I thought it was going to be. I think I would like to try one on photography. Maybe over Christmas break. I was glad to hear so many recommendations in this show.

    By the way, one of the picks this week was a P365 app on the iPhone. I just looked and it turns out that it (or a similar app) is available for Android too. It’s called 365 Photo App.

  22. AmberMcB says:

    I’m a week behind on listening to your show — but I just had to stop it & comment that I’m tickled pink y’all saw my FB post about getting PSE10 at Costco online w/out a membership. You stated it correctly that I only paid $58 after shipping & nonmember fee added and I’m very happy with that deal. I ordered on Thursday & received on Monday. So far I’ve taken it out of the box & looked over all of the pieces, but have refrained from loading it yet. This is the first year I’ve felt this anticipation for Christmas since I was a little kid!!

  23. AmberMcB says:

    I took that class at Gotta Pixel that Ronnie mentioned also. I love that she mentioned the extra money for 1 on 1 input was so valuable to her, but my experience is the exact opposite. For a lower price point I was able to take the exact same class, receive the same products to work with, but was not able to post in the gallery & ask questions. That is okay with me. I WAS able to see the galleries & the questions everyone else posted as well as the transcripts of the chat. So, I did not feel I missed out on anything and that lower price is what made it possible for me to participate.

    I have also taken classes at Get it Scrapped Pattie Knox and have been most impressed with those. I scooped up her bundles when you announced on the DigiShow they’d be retiring and am so happy I did.

  24. Sallie Shelton says:

    I also second Cassie’s many classes at DesignerDigitals. They are inexpensive and very detailed.

    Other great tutorials are at Ella Publishing.

    Thanks for the amazing shows, I love them all. It is so nice to have a show for us digi addicts. Gotta get my weekly Digi Show fix!

  25. Cameron Hernandez says:

    I am a class collector with a toddler and a newborn I only have a few hours a week to either scrapbook or take a class. I have to have the classes accessible for a long time or it is not worth it for me. I usually pay for the class and then I am not able to take or do the assignments for months.

    But when I first started digi scrapbooking using PSE in 2008 I needed to take the class in person and I was very lucky that The Digital Scrapbook Teacher lived here in Southern California and taught at my LSS. I tried taking a PSE class at a jr. college but it wasn’t what I wanted to do and got bored very quickly.

    I have taken many online classes through Jessica Sprague, BPC, Papperclippings, Get it Scrapped, Digi Scrap 101 and others which I love taking and “met” many nice fellow scrappers on the chat boards. I also agree with LadyDoc, MCC was not worth the money because for me the class is only available for a limited time. Although I didn’t know I could re-take, I might do that for the one I paid and didn’t finish in time.

    Thanks ladies for the great topic I really enjoy listening while I am cleaning my house. And yes it is very clean =)

  26. Katie (sakura-panda) says:

    I haven’t taken any non-work related online classes, but I have been thinking hard about it recently and this episode has pushed me to decide to do it. It was nice to hear that “not sure when I’ll be able to make the time to take the class” is a problem that everyone else has too.

    I have been concerned that with a video, I would be sitting around and waiting for the relevant bit to show up and hoping I didn’t miss it when my attention wandered. Katie’s comments about having PDF class materials to reference later was an unexpected surprise and one that makes a video class less undesirable.

    Inspired by the discussion, I followed the Get It Scrapped link and found that the class I want to take is on sale right now (it was full price when I last looked at it) so obviously I *have* to sign up for it. I waited because I didn’t want to buy it and then never actually *take* it, but now I think I need to do it.

    Thanks for another fun and informative discussion! I’m going to sign up for my first online class Right Now!

  27. Just wanted to let everyone know the class on clustering I was talking about on the show is now available for registration again at Gotta-Pixel – http://www.gottapixel.net/store/product.php?productid=36523&cat=182&page=1
    Sign-up today you won’t regret it.

  28. Katie says:

    Thanks Ronnie! That looks like a neat class :)

  29. I’m in the middle of listening to Episode 18 and catching up in episodes I’ve missed in the holiday bustle, but wanted to come and say how happy I was to hear that BOTH Katie and Steph haven’t finished their Me: A to Z albums. I took the class twice, and didn’t finish either time! I have a class habit, but have a hard time finishing classes. Glad to hear I’m not the only one. Love the show!