Clean&Simple Q&A

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking27 Comments

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Clean&Simple: The Workshop kicks off two weeks from today. This class has been a long time in the making, and I'm getting excited to get the ball rolling.

I've been fielding a lot of questions and wanted to put together a quick Q&A for anyone who'd like more information on the class.

Do I need Photoshop to take this workshop? Yes. But technically you only need Photoshop Elements. Photoshop users are welcome, but all of the instruction is offered using PSE 10.

I have Photoshop Elements 11. Will this class work for me? Yes! Just know that PSE 11 has been redesigned so the interface looks different but the functions and key processes remain more or less the same. It might take a little extra finagling, but my goal with this workshop is to really build your understanding of using digital processes to create hybrid pages, so a little extra finagling will only help you to really understand the software.

I am a digital scrapbooker. Is this class designed for me as well? Technically, no, but let me explain: we are creating hybrid pages—pages that start in a digital area but move into the printed world. However, those scrapbookers who only do digital will defintely be able to work through each weekly assignment and gain skill as they go, especially in the latter half of the workshop, where it's less template based and you are challenged to do more ground up design work. That said, this is not a purely digital scrapbooker's class.

Can you tell me more about the assignments for this class? You will have 12 assignments, some are 8.5 x 11 pages, some are 12 x 12 pages, and there's a mini album project, too. Every week we'll have a theme focus and the assignment will include the following components: overall guiding principles, design principles, journaling focuses, photography tips and production techniques. In the latter half of class, there will be a strong emphasis on typography as well, working with a host of free fonts to create beautiful type for your layouts. There is room for interpretation on some of the assignments, but some of the challenges are designed to get you thinking and creating around a predetermined theme.

I'm a complete beginner in Photoshop Elements. Will this class be too much for a newbie? If you've never cracked open the software, I would have to say possibly. That said, there are really only a handful of key processes we use in this class and once you master them, you're going to be really solid in your understanding of this program and process. One thing I plan on telling my students is to remember: Command or Control + Z is your new best friend. As with any new process, it will take time to master. Each week, there is a detailed, step-by-step handout with all of the processes typed out, in addition to our weekly video tutorials. I welcome beginners, but if you're the type of person who gets really stressed out because you don't get something the first time out, it might not be the best time for you to take the class.

I can't take your class right now but am wondering if you are teaching again later in the year? This is the only time I'm teaching the workshop in 2013. 

If you want to know more about my instruction style, I have a channel on Vimeo and you can get a sampling of what my teaching style is like.

If you have any further questions, I'm happy to answer. Leave me a comment or email me at

For more detailed information on the class, click the banner below:

Cathy ZielskeClean&Simple Q&A

27 Comments on “Clean&Simple Q&A”

  1. #4

    Nadia, yes. Design Your Life was a more comprehensive sketch based class. Each week youd get sketches and build from there. In this class, I teach you how to use Photoshop Elements to design and create hybrid layouts, with lots of work on ways to print your elements, customize things, precision typography and more. We focus each week on a particular theme and then cover all design aspects as well as clean simple philosophy aspects. Its a very tutorial driven, hands on class. : )

  2. #5

    I just watched the class video and I noticed some familiar templates that I have purchased from your DD collection. I know that the focus for this class will be hybrid, but I am wondering if the themes will be based on previous layouts/templates, new ones, or perhaps a mixture. I have taken your Design Your Life class (which I loved) and utilized many of your DD templates (which I also loved). So, I just wanted to see how the content might differ. I hope that makes sense?! Thanks.

  3. #6

    Stacy, that class video features all old templates. None of those are used in the new class. I had such an early deadline to make that video (last August) that I didnt have the final layouts for the class ready to shoot. : )

    It will be all new and this class will be much more intense than Design Your Life, in terms of the level of digital production you will be doing. We did none of that in Design Your Life, really. That was more sketch and design theory based.

    Everything in this workshop is new and not before published or for sale. : )

  4. #7

    Thank you so much for your quick and thorough reply. I am so happy that the content is all new. Every class I’ve taken with you has been fantastic, so I have no doubt this one will be as well. Off to sign up…

  5. #8

    Thanks, Stacy! : ) Im looking forward to getting it underway! There is some challenging stuff, but I think people will walk away really understanding how to make PSE work so many of their scrapbooking needs!

  6. #9
    Sally Hodder

    I would love to be able to take this class it looks just what I need at the moment. My budget won’t stretch to it unfortunately, maybe next year! *sigh*

  7. #10
    ana roat

    I don’t have PSE or I’d hook up right away. Maybe a come back in 2014….

    In the meantime…Coleman Z. tore it up Cathy!!!! Oh yeah….!

  8. #11

    I only have PSE 9. Will the class make sense to me? I decided not to upgrade because I hadn’t been doing much but would love to take the class and get back into scrapbooking.

  9. #15

    Christie, yep! Its pretty much identical to PSE 10, which is what Im teaching the class in. You will have access to all the features I show you in class. And they look the same, too! : )

  10. #16

    Hi Cathy!! I am very interested in this class and have been considering it for several weeks, but for one thing. I will be out of town for the first week of class. Will I be terribly far behind if I do not have the opportunity to log on and start the class until April 10? thanks!

  11. #17

    Hello Kris, oh not at all. Seriously. This content is available to you permanently. Once you are a student of this class, you have forever access. Each week is a self contained lesson. While yes, you will build upon knowledge from week to week, I tried to make each week as comprehensive as possible. So youll be just fine! Its my experience in my online classes that many people will have other things going on and not be on time finishing each project in the week its released. So, no worries!

  12. #20

    Cathy, one more question. I registered for the class and received the introductory e-mail. It mentions that the text templates are compatible with Microsoft Word. I have a newer Mac but I do not have Word. Are the templates compatible with other programs? I have been using Text Edit for my journaling. I can get Word if I need to. Thanks so much!!!

  13. #21

    I can’t wait!! I’m excited to take a class again. I’m struggling to get back into scrapbooking again!

  14. #22
    Stephanie Crinklaw

    What about PSE 8? Much difference there? Will I be able to adapt? Am so looking forward to this class…it’s just what I need to get back in the saddle. I haven’t ever really mastered PSE so this is perfect!

  15. #23

    This is me too, Barbara! I just haven’t been motivated. This will definitely do the trick 😉

  16. #25

    Hey Cathy, Can’t wait to sign up for this class, did a class with you back in 2006 when you came to Australia. Far too much time between classes!!!

    Can you please let me know, I have Photo Shop Creative Suite 6…….. Can I do this class????


  17. #27

    Yes, you can, but just know that all of the instruction is offered in PSE 10. Now, that said, I actually do all of my work in CS5. So there will be a few things that dont work the same (one of them is using the Project Bin, but I can give you workarounds for that if you email me with any questions during the class!)

    Does this help? : )

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