Friday, July 20, 2012

Smash Book for Creative Chemistry 101

It has been a little while in the making and an even longer while in posting, but I finally finished my Smash book of ideas from the Creative Chemistry 101. Creative Chemistry 101 was on interactive  online card class taught by Tim Holtz himself.  You can still take the class as an independent class with full access to the class materials.  Check them out at

The class curriculum was simple, each day focused on a particular distress product.  Key topics involved Distress Inks, using Distress Re-inkers, Distress Stains, the new (and fabulous) Distress Markers, etc.  Each day there were assignments to create sample tags using the techniques taught with the goal of a group of tags that can act as inspiration and instruction long after the class is over.  Although I didn't have much time to keep up during the course, I was ultimately able to complete each assignment.  So when Brandy graciously gifted me with a (green) Smash book for collating crafting ideas, I thought I  couldn't find a better use that to collate  instructions for each technique, sample pictures from the class and ultimately my test tags that I created as a part of taking the class.  This page is a typical treatment in the Smash book.  I printed the sample tag that Tim created, the instructions provided in the class along with the supplies for that specific technique.  On the opposing page, I typically created a pocket or some other type of fastener to house the sample tags I made (so that I can pull them out to either use or refer to in the future). 

Stamping with Distress Stain

Perfect Splatter
Some of the later tags I began mixing my techniques, so many of the tags are combinations and various trials I made.  The original posts of tags made using the Stamping with Distress Stain were in this post here and again here

The Smash book provides a patterned paper background for each page.  I just happened to have some K & Co 4 x 6 paper packs laying around that coordinated nicely with the color scheme of my Smash book.  These became very convienient and easy to make pockets.  I simply cut the shaped paper in half and used glue dots to adhere the corners and bottom edge to the Smash book page.  After that, it was easy to slide the tags right in.  My Perfect Splatter technique tags were originally posted here.
Distress Stickles
Often, if there was a particular tag that I really like and inspires me, I would use a glue dot or two to place the tag on the page highlighting the result.

Stamping with Distress Markers
Tim was very open about the fact that he desired each of us to take what we learned from the class and spread our knowledge.  I didn't take the time to duplicate every instruction- most of the techniques can be found in one manner or another through watching Tim's YouTube videos or simply visiting his blog and watching the videos he makes.  The real magic of the class was the daily interaction that included answering questions and tailoring each class video to address the concerns he felt were important to understanding why some of these techniques work and why they might not work in certain situations.  My Distress Stickles post can be found here and my Stamping with Markers technique and can be found in this post here.   

I am sure you are wondering if I think the independent study of Creative Chemistry 101 would be worth it.  I am going to give you all the facts that I myself might want to know in order to make the decision.  For the $35 class fee you have lifetime access to ten full sets of videos created exclusively by Tim Holtz.  Each set has one video from 5-15 minutes long with helpful information on the chemistry (or why) involved with the technique.  This information is the information that is not always included in Tim's videos on his website.  For a real "in-her-head" person like me, I find this information fascinating and helpful.  I could see where a more artsy, follow-your-bliss kind of person might not find this information so very helpful (though if it makes you successful you might).  Each set then also has a 10-20 minute instructional video of that days technique(s).  Often these videos contain 2 or 3 different techniques and always contain Tim using the materials and explaining the steps in his normal incredible detail.  These videos don't deviate a lot from those on Tim's website, but are maybe slightly longer and deep in depth.  Finally, the class fees also give you access to view (only) the question and answer forum where Tim personally answered questions each day during the live class.  Some of the more rich information can be found here as Tim helped those of us who participated live as we asked questions about why things did or didn't work right.  The original live participants also uploaded to galleries which are accessible (again, view only) and a good source of inspiration.

It might be worth saying that no one has asked and/or paid me to make this post.  I have said all this wholly within my own enthusiasm for how much I enjoyed the class.  I know I would have a hard time justifying taking a static class.  However, knowing what I know, I definitely would endorse this particular class even now without the interactive participation.  I think you would find it well worth your money.


1 comment:

  1. Andie - this is such a fabulous hands on way of keeping a record of different techniques. Certainly better than surfing the internet, or searching our bookmarks. TFS


Thank you so much for your kind words. Isn't it fun to encourage one another, even from a distance?