If you could take a class on anything, what would it be?

Cathy ZielskeProducts & Classes109 Comments

And specifically, from me.

I’ve been knee deep in the hoopla of class development for the past month. The one I’m working on now is a revised version of Move More, Eat Well and I’ll have all the details coming in early November.

I also have a handful of other ideas in my brain, but I’m curious to hear from you. I know some of you blog readers have taken my classes over the years (thank you!) and sometimes, I get very insulated in my thinking and forget about stuff I could be developing and teaching.

I would love to hear from you. What would  you like to learn? Also, what length of class works best for  you? Do you like the 12 week courses? The 4 week ones? Self-paced?

I recently signed up for Brené Brown’s new e-course and I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know if I have the time to actually do it right now. I just saw the description and new that my good friend Ali was part of it and wanted to sign up, lest I miss the chance to participate in an Oprah e-course.

Hell, I don’t even art journal. But here I go, signing up.

What about you? When you take an online class do you tend to keep up? Do you take your time? How much of your time, ideally, would you like to commit to an online course, say each week, or each month?

I would really appreciate any comments you’d like to share today.

Thank you!


Cathy ZielskeIf you could take a class on anything, what would it be?

109 Comments on “If you could take a class on anything, what would it be?”

  1. #1
    Linda Weir

    I took your Clean and Simple class and LOVED it. I kept up fine and learned so much about PSE11 which I never knew before. I loved all the shortcuts you pointed out. I singed up for Ali Edwards class about Storytelling and didn’t much care for it……too much talking and not enough actual demos. I never finished that class. I would love any class you taught……and especially if it pertained to PSE and working with that program. I would also love to know more about Rad Lab. I purchased it and not fully sure how to use it. I just enjoy your simplistic approach to page layout and design. I am so anxious for you to teach another class…..can’t wait!!

  2. #2

    Ditto to Linda’s comments. Your Clean and Simple workshop was phenomenal. I completed every assignment, except for the mini book. I recently took Ali’s class and have not completed a single page. As much as I love Ali’s style, I would have had to dedicate far to much time to each layout. I would love to see so much more of the same as C&S…beautiful design, learning more about PSE and basically…just taking the Crap out of Scrapbooking. But honestly, I’ll sign up for any class that you put out there…

  3. #3

    Photoshop Elements 101 with Cathy Z.

    I love your video tutorials and revisit them often, what I’ve learned, I’ve learned from you.
    I can follow you well and do a little but I seriously don’t know the difference between, jpeg, png, abr and what each of them can do and how to use them or create them, etc. I have this tool bar and I only use three things, crop, color and text. What is a magic wand anyway? I download free stuff, but don’t know how to upload them in PSE and use them.

    I would take this class. Video tutorials along with printable cheat sheets of steps. For real!

  4. #4
    Missus Wookie

    Isn’t it interesting how different everyone is? A good reminder that whatever class you come up with someone is likely to wish you’d done something differently. I did and really enjoyed Ali’s Hello Story class – lots of prompts and ideas to get me thinking about how to get my stories out onto a page or at least onto a blog post. I adored and refer back to DYL and C&S on a regular basis, still use a couple of the sketches which have become favourites of mine and regular staples in my repertoire. Heard myself telling a tutorial student (designing a school project flyer in powerpoint…. don’t ask) ‘Equal Margins – just believe me they are very important’. And thought of you 🙂

    I sign up for classes when I think I’ll have time OR know that I’ll have time shortly and work on getting it done then, I don’t panic if I haven’t had time or find that the class didn’t gel for me, I figure other people will be enjoying it. Having said that it is hard for me NOT to sign up for certain teacher’s just because they inspire me no matter what they are teaching (Stacy for example). Or when the subject matter is one I think would be awesome and that I WILL make time for it. The Two Views class is an example of that – meant to be done before my daughter went away to Uni but we’re going for via Skype now.

    Recently I was reflecting on my classes and the ‘not quite finished’ list and decided that actually a year long gentle class suits me best – the same pattern as the OLW class. Each month a different prompt or set of skills/ideas to work on, which is what I find I do with the DYL plus C&S type class – stretch it out as a week just is not long enough around everything else I do.

    Hopefully then the skills/ideas sink in enough that they become more engrained and I find that with the extra bit of time to work through different ways of tackling this I remember to be excited about this hobby and take the time to make it fun rather than just one more thing on my to do list to get done…

    Whatever you come up with – except anything that involves running, I’ll be interested 🙂

  5. #5
    Angie Coleman

    Ditto to Linda and Sarah’s comments! Would love to take your Clean and Simple class!
    I didn’t know anything about digital scrapbooking – I had older versions of PSE but only used it to enhance my photos. With your tutorials I am learning more about PSE and design. I have loads of scrapbooking materials but it had become too overwhelming. I finally figured out that I couldn’t produce much, because I wasn’t the ‘fluff and frills’ kind of scrapbooker. lol This makes more sense! Thank you, Cathy! I will take any class you teach! 🙂

  6. #6
    Holly S

    So, classes, huh? Here are my random ideas on the subject…
    The BEST online class I took was by A Beautiful Mess. It was an art journal class. I had never done art journaling but there was something about this particular course that pulled me in. I was in my late 30’s and probably not their target audience. Everyday I logged into a password protected blog and there was a paragraph or two about a subject to journal about that day. It also included a few pics of their take on that day’s prompt. Sometimes there was a short video to watch. There was also a photobucket account to post our pages and view other’s pages. It was 30 days, everyday. You have access forever and 3 years later, looking back on the assignments, they seemed new because I was in a different place than the first time around. It was daily or could be self paced. The daily ‘assignments’ were short, uncomplicated and you could take 15 min or 2 hours to work on your page and it was all OK! You tailored it to your time and needs.
    As for future classes, EASY photo editing and PSE tutorials are something I’m interested in. It’s got to be easy to understand and easy to do. I don’t have a lot of time to sit through an hour class once a week…I like a quick 10 minutes a day kinda thing. It’s got to be exciting and done with a special sorta something because let’s face it, everything has already been done…sometimes many times over.
    I don’t envy you trying to develop workshops. Good luck and I hope in some small way, I’ve helped.

  7. #8

    I’ll join the group in saying how much I loved Clean and Simple. I love 12 weeks for the length of the class and was very excited to watch each week’s video. I’d even love if they went longer – 16 weeks? 🙂 Even the weeks that I didn’t do the exact layout, I enjoyed watching and learning the design elements. I’d love to take a class where you get more into font and potentially helping us with ways to design our own typography brushes/pngs, creating titles for scrapbook pages, creating journaling cards for PL. Project Life is the main way I scrap and I’d love to take a class with you that’s really geared toward PL.

  8. #10

    People are so different 🙂 I placed Ali’s Hello Story class in my top 5. I kept up all 12 weeks, made layouts for all but 2 topics and have a ton of ideas for future layouts. To your original question, I love your clean style and digi goodness. I would like a class where sketches/templates were provided, hybrid techniques explored, and digi embellies included.

  9. #11

    I am desperate for a class on photo organization. It was bad enough when I just had prints, now I have prints (boxes of them), photos on iPhoto (albums/folders), photos on Photo stream, photos on Camera Roll, Instagram. . . maybe even some in DropBox, on my iPhone, on my iPad. I am so confused as to how to tame the beast. Seeing as you just went through all your photos and you love all things Apple it would be a great fit.

  10. #12

    I would like Digital Scrapbooking with Cathy Z. Or, lets get together every Sunday and do our digital Project Life together. I suppose a virtual 4-hour crop once a week would be too much to ask?

    I remember from long ago when you said something about your mad Photoshop skillz: you have them and that is what I want to learn from you. I have taken C&S and am in Move More. In general I don’t get much of the work done in the classes but I sign up because I enjoy the inspiration from you.

    I would also even love a class in how to make journaling cards, how to make handwritten sayings (scanning vs. tablet, etc). I don’t plan on becoming a designer it is just it would be so useful to know how you do those things.

  11. #13


    Great questions! I’ve taken nearly all of your classes. The original version of Design Your Life is the one that still refer back to and resonates in my mind as I create a layout. The foundational principles from that class guide my designs. After that class was over, I kept wishing for a DYL II, a deeper application and instruction on good graphic design principles. I did some research on the topic but never really found anything that struck me as what I was looking for. I’m still not sure what an Advanced DYL would look like but I think it would include some of the theoretical principles of what makes something a good design.

    I also loved, loved Me: The Abridged Version. This is my absolute favorite album. I still get goosebumps when I go back and read through the pages. I would put this class in a category of your classes where we create a thematic album. This is where your principles on design and your ideas for creating a collection of stories really comes together perfectly for me. I have really enjoyed creating all of your mini album projects (Two Views, Everyone Can Write a Little, and the ones not associated with a class such as Thanksgiving Gratitudes and An Album of ‘Fuls).

    I select classes based on the instructors. I look for teachers whose design style I appreciate. I usually take time and look through the instructor’s blog in order to better understand the look and feel of their scrapbook pages. I have a clean and simple style myself, so I am most drawn to classes taught by yourself and Ali Edwards.

    In terms of keeping up, it really depends on the class. Where we are creating a themed album, I try to make certain the project is completed during the class or very shortly afterward. Where the class is about learning specific skills and creating individual layouts, I will make certain to watch the weekly videos and read the handouts, but I may not necessarily create a layout each week. I used to but it got to be too much. Now I will just make a page if I feel I have a story to tell that meshes with the week’s lesson.

    I’ve signed up for Brene Brown’s class as well. I’m not into art journaling at all but I’ll it a go. Mostly I can’t resist trying a e-class from Oprah and am really looking forward to seeing what Ali has to offer. Brene’s books have also inspired me.

    My scrapbooking has recently evolved. I am taking more a Project Life approach now. I don’t do weekly spreads but I do keep an yearly album and add photos and journaling in order to record the moments I want to remember. These are stories both big and small (from special events and vacations to what’s blooming in my garden and what I’m watching on TV now).

    Of course I will be back for MMEW in 2014. That class keeps me accountable on my health and fitness journey. I am so, so glad to have an album where I records my thoughts and feelings about my weightloss effort. I read through those often. These memories are what motivate me to keep going.

    Thank you always for all your teach and share with us. I’m looking forward to seeing what you will bring to us next!!


  12. #14

    I would love a class on digital PL. iced one paper the past 2 years but from a space perspective know I don’t have room to keep filling big binders. I’m not even sure how to start digital, though, and would love to understand how that works from start to finish.

    Also, I would love to know how to make png files.

    Really I think any desig class from you would be excellent.

  13. #15
    judy in Huntsville al

    What Sonia said… I love all your classes..your style ismystyle…only better. That said…ive found I’ve overextended myself with classes this year… a year long class doesn’t keep my interest…but the quarterly classes do…and 6-8week classes arr the ones I can complete and feel comfortable in signing up for more…

  14. #16
    Sandy Ellis-Brye

    Ditto, ditto on PSE and Clean and Simple techniques! Please make an advanced class and/or a sequel. I learned so much!!

  15. #17

    I LOVE classes. I think I’m slightly obsessed with them. The problem…time. There just isn’t enough of it. I took your last 12 week class at BPC. I don’t think I completed a single thing. I watched all of the videos, some of them multiple times, but just never got around to creating with them. Perhaps it’s because I’m all digital, and the hybrid aspect intrigued me, but overwhelmed me a little, too. I am always “in a class” but rarely have time to participate in the boards and I almost never post to the galleries. Maybe in a couple years when all my kiddos are in school full time. I LOVE your templates and your masterful abilities for word art/fonts and would enjoy another class based on those…just don’t expect to see me on the boards 🙂

  16. #18
    Maureen Mathis

    Wow! After reading through the comments, it looks like I’ll sign up for your Clean and Simple Class that’s available now. I have no advice for you, other than listen to the voices in your head (!) because it looks like they can be trusted! I just love your entire BRAND and have been a fan FOREVER; I’m just usually more of a stalker-type fan, trying to pick up bits and pieces of good design and spunkiness from your electronic trail of crumbs hereinafter referred to as this blog. But it looks like it’s time to actually BUY the whole cupcake and see if I can handle it; hey, did someone say CUPCAKE? WHERE? WHERE?

    Have a great day; it looks like it will be fun to read these great comments all weekend!

  17. #20
    Stacy Brunner

    I loved the Clean & Simple class this year. I would take another class like that. But I’m not sure what specifically I would hope to learn. I like the 12 week classes because I end up with at least 12 layouts and need only commit to one per week to keep up.

  18. #22
    lynne moore

    I am old fashioned. The digital classes don’t interest me. It’s a totally different mind game sitting at the computer vs creating layouts in paper. I really Loved, Loved the design class and want to revisit it but with new projects.
    I tend to take too many classes and can’t get thru them all. Right now, the class I am taking is just about perfect with 2 projects a week and a couple of short videos introducing each project. They aren’t super detailed (not-step-by-step) so I can take the project in any direction inspired on the topic. It gives me time to think it over if I need to do that.

  19. #23
    audrey v

    I love taking classes on-line, especially from you, but to be honest I stink at my follow through. I love the IDEA of taking a class, and I love it when I actually DO IT, but the reality is that I don’t have that much free time. I have too many unfinished classes from years past, if I ever get the time to finish them. When I did DYL, I kept up better than most classes, and loved it. When I did the unabridged ME album (I forget the exact name), I didn’t finish it for 2 years, but loved it when I did. I did MMEW in 2012, and read all the stuff, but only did photos from Jan-Mar. I have classes from Ali E that are 4 years old and waiting to be finished, and some that I haven’t started.
    So… I love classes … BUT … I probably will only finish ones that are shorter in length. One month is good! And October to April is my season for taking classes, if you’re asking. 🙂

  20. #24

    To me the instructor means more than the topic. I rarely finish “projects” but often go back to you, and Ali, and Stacy to just hear the wisdom, encouragement, and philosophy you each have and am inspired to do what I want and get what I want out of my memory keeping and even life! Even if I don’t do the pages or homework immediately, I have taken what I need from the class at the time, and can go back and absorb something different later.

    That said – I would not miss a class on PSE 101, special projects like MeTAV or Two Views, and apparently I need to take Clean & Simple!

    Just pick something and do it, we’ll be there!

  21. #25

    I know this sounds really lame, but I would really like a class based on Project life and how to keep the habit up especially when things come up and how to catch up and all the normal issues, but with your style of teaching and simplicity!

    Also, looking forward to 30 days of thankful ;D. Oh, and your Encyclopedia of Me thingy too 😀

  22. #26
    Paul B

    Having read some of the other comments, I agree – bring back another abridged me. I was just thinking about that the other day. I thought about looking at the archives and doing an “About Us” album to document the lives of Nick & I. I’ve done two Abridged Mes and despite what you may hear to the contrary, I’m really not that narcissistic. Plus I thought it’s be nice to look back in years to come and see what our relationship was like in 2013, what we enjoyed together, how we lived our lives etc. However, I’m getting sidetracked. I actually wanted to ask whether there was a possibility of C&S Design part 2. I know that beginner’s classes attract more participants but is there a niche for those who’d like to take what we’ve learnt from you already and bump it up a notch? Get deeper into it? Are there tips and techniques you’ve yet to share? Or (thinking off the top of my head) in language, you can learn by immersion, is there a way to improve skills in design and scrapbooking this way. Love that you mentioned art journaling. I’ve daydreamed about trying to find a way to bring about the CAS style to it but so far I haven’t managed it. I seem to forever battling my two natures. The artist and the designer. Maybe one day, someone will show mr how to reconcile both. lol. Hope this helps add to your list of ideas. Pxx

  23. #27

    What I like about your classes…you and your videos!

    Classes I would like to see:
    Photo Editing
    Digital PL
    C&S II
    Any Design concept
    PSE 201 (you have given us so many basics)

    The 12 week class gave us the ability to really work with the lessons, repeat techniques and therefore put the information into long term memory.

  24. #28

    I tend to complete classes better when I can do my pages digitally. For example: Everyone Can Write a Little, Me: The Abridged Version, Yesterday and Today, and Clean & Simple. These are some of my favorites. I would enjoy another Clean & Simple-type workshop.

  25. #29


    I have been scrapbooking for about 10 years, became 100% digital using PSE at Year 2, and have taken most of your classes over the years. I love it when the focus is on design principles, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I’m ready for a more advanced design class. Admittedly, I often lapse into scraplifting and using templates, but would love to break out of that habit and be more confident with my own design skills. It would be great to learn not only about intermediate/advanced design principles, but also how an expert like you thinks when approaching a new layout and your creative process.

    I’m on the fence about self-paced versus multi-week courses. I usually start both class formats with enthusiasm and the best intentions, but often do not finish because of time constraints. Self-paced seems more do-able from a time management perspective, but the multi-week format with email updates is beneficial for helping to stay engaged.

    I jumped into Project Life this year and am doing a pretty good job of keeping up, but it’s about the only scrapbooking I seem to do anymore. It would be great if a class could somehow be connected with PL, but not just PL only…maybe something like a weekly spinoff project with a deeper design focus using a particular photo or event?


  26. #30

    I love to learn, I`m like a sponge that fills with knowledge! I recently entre in the Big Idea Festival at Big Pictures Classes and I love your day class was one of my favourites! I love your simple and clean style with out the crap :)I´m a digital girl and love to learn more about PSE, fonts, design,your process to make project life and more.This year I just learn to make digital brushes and cards because I search for tutorials. I love to see your tutorials to they are always fun and easy to follow. I´m looking forward for what you have in your sleeve for next year.

  27. #31
    Judy Webb

    Photoshop Elements. Now, they are adding some interesting move tools. There are so many layers in one tool that I haven’t mastered. I would love to learn typography. Making my own printed elements. Like you, I wonder if I have time. thanks for asking

  28. #32
    Debra E

    I’ve taken a few of your classes. I would like to take more. I’m not too picky about the content. 🙂 All I ask is that they be affordable. The long classes are great, but there’s no way I can afford them. If you could do a class in the $25-35 range, I’d be all over it.

  29. #33
    Andrea W.

    I would take pretty much any class that you teach because I love your style – both your teaching style and the way you scrapbook. I have taken Design Your Life (twice) and Clean & Simple as well as some of your other BPC classes. I loved them all and learned a lot from each class. While I did not always complete all the class assignments, I read everything and watch all the videos. I go back to your classes all the time for tips and ideas.

    The class I would like to see you teach would be something like “Getting It Done – The Clean & Simple Way”. Basically, I see this as taking a challenge each week and showing your thoughts and ideas on how you would do it. For example, I have years of vacation family photos and I think to myself “What would Cathy do?” Or for a special event with lots of photos and memorabilia, “What would Cathy do?”

    That being said, I would probably sign up for anything that you teach. No matter what the topic is, I always learn something and get very motivated. Over the years, I have done scrapbooking all kinds of ways – paper, digital, project life, photo albums. Now that my kids are in their 20’s, I am going back to all the photos I never had time to scrap, as well as some photos from my childhood and heritage photos, and I am always taking new photos. So I’m not running out of photos to scrap anytime soon, and I am always looking for ideas and new challenges.

    Keep doing what you are doing – you do it so well! Thanks!

  30. #34

    I would love to see you do a Clean&Simple:The Workshop II.
    I learned so much in the first class and would like to continue my progress. The pace was just right and so enjoyed your videos and sense of humor. You explained everything so thoroughly and so patiently that even digital beginners (like me)learned PSE.

  31. #36

    I regret not taking clean and simple so would love a re run of that. Otherwise I’ve taken all of your BPC classes. I still use sketches from Design Your Life.
    I love your design classes the best – and I like the 8 week format. 4 is too short/rushed for me.

  32. #37
    Sandi G.

    I rarely follow online classes exactly and am usually uncomfortable sharing my pages, so I take them mostly to learn software techniques and get ideas. As much as I love the 12-week courses, I always get behind. I’d be great with two-week intervals – enough time to learn, brainstorm and then create. I would love to see more multimedia classes – making slide shows, incorporating video, creating a personal blog, etc. I know very little of how to do all that. Maybe something like that exists already and I just don’t know about it. I’ve joked with my husband that I want to be able to hand over a portable external hard drive to each of my kids toward the end of my life (to the extent I get to know when that is) with “my life encapsulated” – sort of a personal legacy of who I was, how I lived, what mattered to me… I think it would be kind of cool to do that now at mid-life to see if I would change anything. I don’t know exactly what the end product or products would be of a class like that (Project Life Multimedia?), but I’d definitely want to take it.

  33. #38

    I am on the beginner side with pse and would love to take the Clean and Simple.. I have heard so much about it and love the style. The pse101 sounds great as well.

    From there I would like to work toward a beginner designing class and eventually an advanced designer class.

  34. #39

    Whatever class you teach, make the videos bite-size. I find it easier to listen to 5 6-minute videos during a week, for example, than one 30-minute one. I always have to go back and run everything again or I have forgotten the first part already. Love the idea of a 5-minute video, then a bite-size hands-on practice and then a compilation of all the little bite-size techniques to make a bigger project, layout, card or album.

  35. #40

    I’ve taken quite a few of your classes and loved them all. Wasn’t able to take you clean and simple workshop the first time around and would love if it could be offered again. Also PSE 101. I always seem to get it when you explain it!.

  36. #41

    I took your class on fonts, and type design recently. I found it really useful, and have used what I learned a lot, specifically at work where I am responsible for the school newsletter which has had a complete revamp after that course.

  37. #42

    I have taken several of your classes and I have loved them all. I like classes that have a little bit of time to complete projects built into them. Instead of having daily or weekly assignments, I like having a couple of weeks to get stuff done. I work full time, I go home and do stuff for my husband’s business and then I’m just tired. It seems like I can only do class type work on weekends, yet sometimes classes are set up to require a daily commitment and I feel like I’m behind before I even get started. I know I can’t be the only person out there that feels this way. I also love being able to access the course materials at a later time, after the class is over. I love your hybrid type classes. I would also love to see a class on how to set up a blog – the technical stuff. Thank you so much for asking our opinion.

  38. #43

    Hi Cathy,
    I see all the great digital elements that you design and use in your work, and I truly have no idea how to use them. I’d love a beginner beginner super beginner class on how to use your digital products (or Ali’s or whoever’s) in photoshop. A class like this may exist somewhere already, but I’d love to see it from you.

  39. #44

    So many of these comments sound wonderful. I would like to add photo organization – I mean I have photos on my phone and SLR. I back up onto a laptop, MAC, and Carbonite. I use photoshop and what was Memory Manager now Historian.

    Also how do you organize all the digital stuff….I have product embellishments, templates, paper, etc but getting it Ll together is a different story.

    I’m thinking clean and simple organizing edition – maybe six weeks?

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  40. #47

    Would love a 12 week course geared towards Project Life, digital photography and PSE. I love your explanation of Photo Editing and how to use different functions (beginner). I love your short 5 minute type tutorials and I think a class built around all this would be great (using templates, titles etc) with printable sheets on how to. It would all of course have your style clean and simple. I could use a digital project life type course and walk through it all week by week building as we go along.

  41. #48
    Cara S

    I absolutely loved C&S and kept up with all of the work – much to my astonishment. I think it was because my interest was maintained across the weeks. I recently took Ali’s Hello Story which I loved, but my layout completion rate fell as the class proceeded, and I noticed a massive drop off in participation on the Boards etc as the weeks went by, so maybe 12 weeks can be too long sometimes. I agree with all of the comments about PSE but with all of the different versions available would that be a problem – the change in the interface at 11 makes it much more difficult to demonstrate things to someone who still uses 9 or 10.
    I am in the same boat as most commenters in that I would take any class you teach, but that’s not an entirely helpful comment when you’re asking for topic suggestions, so I would second the call for more C&S, something PL related, more manipulation of digital templates to customize them.

  42. #49
    angela ezzell

    I would love to take a “dumbed down” version of some techie classes from you. Photoshop Elements or Macs in general (I’ve had my Mac for a year and a half and still can barely navigate). Surely if anyone could make that interesting, it would be you.

    I also love how you structure your blog (and your writing), so something like that would be interesting, especially how you’re so bold in your writing. Do you get negative feedback? What do your grandparents say when you cuss on the blog? Basically, how do you justify saying what you feel and making slightly off-kilter jokes (the dickweed spice label is still one of my favorites)? I don’t have the *balls* for that – eek!

  43. #50
    Dianne Denhem

    MeTAV please, please. I loved that and did it with you for 2 years and on my own for a third. I loved that one.

  44. #51

    I enjoy all your classes Cathy and would take whatever it is you come up with. I loved Clean and Simple this year and would very much enjoy a Clean and Intermediate follow on class. The 12 weeks format I particularly like – somehow I never feel so pressured in this time frame. DYL and Me were also sensational classes. I think one of the things I very much admire about your teaching is that you get to the crux of the matter quickly and simply and in a clear and concise manner yet we all have so much fun along the way!

  45. #52

    Anything! I have taken your other courses and they are my favorites ever! I absolutely love your graphic design and your teaching style and will follow you wherever your go! I really like understanding why things are placed where they are on a page and you have taught me so well that I am much more confident in my page designs. Many, many thanks! Can’t wait to see what class you will offer next!

  46. #53
    Renee T. (italgal on BPC)

    I vote for a C&S II, or anything else where you share your skills on PSE. I would also love a class where you share some of your skills on how you combine fonts (preferably free ones!).

  47. #54

    HI Cathy! Thanks for asking us! I love your classes and would likely take any class you teach. It may sound less exciting or creative or something, but I would love a class on putting together a recipe album or a halloween album…something along the Me The Abridged Version style. Does that make sense?

  48. #55

    I love your classes and style CZ!

    Length: 12 weeks is a long time for a class and they are expensive. I’ve taken many 12 week classes and have NEVER completed one. I think a month to 6 weeks is a great length but agree with another post that a yearlong class dedicated to something specific (PL) is also a nice idea. One doesn’t feel as rushed.

    Topics(in order of need & wants):
    Photo Organization and iPhoto Library
    BASIC PSE and digi scrapping
    PL based course and a theme for an album (All About Us, Things We Do etc after Stacy’s categories.
    Childhood albums

  49. #56

    Oops got cut off….

    I’d also love a blogging class—how to start one, design elements etc.

    Photography—-love them especially the iPhonegraphy class last summer. That was fantastic.

    Anything you offer, I’ll likely sign up for! 🙂 thank you for asking this question!

  50. #57
    Jenny B.

    Thanks for asking! I would love to take a class on how to get my digital Project Life pages done faster — possibly including tips for photo and supply organization — but mostly about the process and tips for how to make good design decisions. I’d also love to be able to write weekly summaries like you do that share the story of the week in a concise, well-written block of text.

  51. #60

    I loved the class you did on using fonts and lettering on pages. I can’t remember the name of the class, but it was great! I always felt like I was just picking a font at random from that long list in photoshop without having any idea why. At the time you mentioned doing a part 2, or advanced class for lettering, which I would really like to take.

    Any class on digital scrapbooking and your style would be great!

  52. #61

    I’ve taken several of your classes at Big Picture Classes. You are such a talented designer Cathy. I just completed BP Project Life class and loved it. So many people are now scrapbooking digitally. You make anything done digitally seem so easy! Would it be possible for you to teach a class having to do with digitally scrapbooking Project Life. There are so many papers,elements,fonts and so much more available digitally it would be nice to learn how to put some of these items together digitally in my own PL scrapbook.If that’s not possible then anything you could come up with that has to do with designing digitally would be great fun! (Have I used the word “digitally” enough?)Thank you for listening.

  53. #62

    I’m with Paul…an advanced class of C&S would be great. I learnt graphic design back in BC (before computers) and what I learned in your class was perfect. Good pace. good length. Now, instead of pushing buttons to see what they do, I know…sort of. After your class I was able to design a stubby holder for my sister-in-law digitally. So easy. Illustrations and all – I have a drawing tablet. It was great because we live in different states and I could email it to her. I would also love to learn how to make money from this little skill. ie: how to put, say invitations I have designed on the net for people to then contact me to fill in the blanks, print them and sell them to them. A little mercenary perhaps but I am a stay at home mum and every bit earned helps. I would sign up for any class from you with a design focus. Anything that explains digital files etc. Bring me into this century please Cathy. Cheers.

  54. #63

    Keeping up is overrated. I love classes but have days/weeks when there is simply no way I can add a class project. I do what I can, when I can. Every now and then I put myself on a class “fast” but that doesn’t last very long and I’m back to sampling this and that. That could actually be a description of my whole life…

    I am drawn to clean and simple and love fonts (but know much less than you do) so am likely to be drawn to whatever you teach.

  55. #64
    Helena C

    I agree with those who suggested a follow on from clean and simple – building on what we did there and following the same format. I did every design and felt as fresh and eager in week 12 as I did at the start and I think this has only been true of classes by you and Stacy. I like a weekly class.

  56. #65

    There are a TON of great suggestions here, so many that I didn’t read them all :O) Right now I’m looking for classes that have projects that are quick and flexible, and provide lots of “tips and tricks” type of information. For example your thirty days of thankful project, you mentioned a 4×6 format!!!! I would sign up for that as a class regardless, but just for ha ha’s…. Included could be 1. Cathy Z. designed template downloads for the 4×6 layouts and some photo overlays with words, etc… 2. Daily prompts or a list of suggested ideas to keep us on our thankful toes. 3. Weekly recap of what you did, photos you took and each week a focus on a different part of your process, for example, in no particular order,
    Pictures: how you got them done, what camera you used, post processing, how your organize, if/when you print
    Design: How you did your layout, why you did it like you did, what design principles apply
    Production: how you make the hard copy of your album, do you print as you go, do you wait until the end, where do you print, what do you use to cut, glue, tips for getting straight lines, digital/hybrid tips.

    The other class that would be my DREAM class is a Cathy/Ali class. I would love a challenges class where you and Ali Edwards collaborate on the challenges and each present a video on what you did and why –showing the interaction between you and Ali so you can ask each other questions. My absolute favorite classes of all time are at Big Picture: Elizabeth Dillow’s Design Challenges (with Stacey Julian presenting her take on the challenge), and The Art and Science of Scrapbooking. I LOVE the videos of the different approaches to the challenges.

  57. #66

    I’m with those who are seeking more c&s 2. Have taken a ton of classes & for some reason, c&s was the ONLY one I completed. The one good thing about the 12 wk format was the ability to catch up when traveling/life got in the way of scrapping. I echo all those suggestions re- your process for getting ‘crap’ done. For example, your Slovenia book! Bam, 2 wks back & you’ve created 2 books!! Your PL process too.

    Amy has an excellent suggestion in tandem teaching – the Cathy & Ali show! I took Ali’s class, thinking I might re-dabble in paper/hybrid but no go. Love her style & she put a ton of work into her class but then I got stuck & overwhelmed with the sheer volume of stuff she did. Paper scrapping is a ton of work. Had to think hard to do it digitally but some of was very inspiring.

    But, please not too much journaling

  58. #67

    I would love a class on how to deal with a large number of photos, whether it be from a vacation or some other kind of event. It is often too much to deal with in a regular scrap format but I am not always comfortable using just a couple of pictures on the page either to tell a full story. On kind of the same lines how to go back and deal with the boxes of pictures that we all have printed but didn’t do anything with. It’s too much to scrap but I also want to do something with them. What to do with all those pictures?

  59. #68
    Jenny B.

    I was just reading through the comments and saw so many people mention your clean & simple class. So… I say, how about a self-paced version of that class?

  60. #69

    I think I have taken just about every class you have taught: Clean and Simple, Move More Eat Well x 2, DYL 2008 and Alumni, Everyone Can Write A Little, Me: The Abridged Version x 2, and Ten Tips for Better Type. Needless to say, I am a CZ junkie!! I have kept up with all the classes and really like the 12-week class format best. That gives one time to catch up if life intervenes, and when you finish, you really have something to show for the time spent.

    My all time favorite classes that you offered were the Design Your Life classes. I still go back to those templates for creative inspiration, and the elements of style that you taught absolutely changed the way that I scrapbook. Those classes were packed with information, and the pages I created are my all-time favorites. I would love to see another Design Your Life class offered.

  61. #70

    I loved Ten Tips for Better Type. I learned so much in that class and even apply some of it at work in corporate e-mails! You mentioned at some point that you were thinking of a version of that class that would get into more advanced concepts and techniques and I’d love to take that.

  62. #71
    Heather V

    I’d love to see Me: the Abridged Version and Clean and Simple: The Workshop re-run. I just recently started taking online scrap classes and missed them. More design classes would be awesome! I love your clean and simple style and the way you tell your stories.

  63. #72
    Geanette Poole

    I would love to take your classes. I’ve never taken on-line classes before, but think I definitely would for scrapbooking/memory keeping. After a life-changing event two years ago, I realize I was to continue telling our family’s story, but really, just with photos and words; not so much all the other stuff. I love your beautiful, clean style. I don’t know a thing about graphic design, and I’ve never used Photoshop Elements, but would love to try the series 11 that you mention. As some other followers have mentioned, I’d commit to a year of classes/tutorials if it was a reasonable price. I’m also intrigued by your Move More Eat Well class…branching out! Neat

  64. #73
    Angie Ulseth

    YES! This would be a fantastic class option. I have the program, but haven’t had time to do much with it.

  65. #74

    I liked Clean&Simple and Design Your Life. The fact that I learned Photoshop trics and design principles.

    For me digital classes give me a lot of inspiration. I don’t need inspiration on subjects/topics or journaling, for me templates and digital elements are important. I have photos and stories I know I want to tell.
    And especially pages with a lot of photos.

    12 weeks is great, I am always disappointed when a course is over and immediately looking for a new one.

  66. #76
    Margot Perry

    I missed out on taking your Clean & Simple Workshop, but would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be able to take it. Do you have any plans to offer it again? I have heard so many awesome comments and feedback.

  67. #77

    Ha! Reading all these comments may make it more confusing for you! I think I have taken EVERY one of your classes … including Scraphic Design at CKU. And I have both books and refer to them often.
    I will sign up for anything you teach, just to get my “CZ” fix. But I think my favorite was Design Your Life! I know many people are saying they want to learn more PSE, but it seems to me there are many options online for PSE classes and tutorials. While I appreciate some of your PSE tips, I’ve been doing PSE for so long, I don’t think I need much more instruction. I liked the C&S class, but learned early on most of the videos related to PSE I already knew.
    So I would vote for Advanced Design Your Life … love having an assignment each week to make a page, love 12 weeks (or more!!), love learning about design rules and principles. Love the fact DYL can be adapted for digital and hybrid and old-fashioned cut & paste. As someone who is in a digital rut (I love the SPEED and “no mess” of digital) I would love the challenged of being “forced” to do some non-digital LOs.
    I also liked your TYPE class (or whatever it was called), but could probably use more education in all things related to type and could also use more inspiration about how to make my type more interesting … that’s probably something that could be part of an Adv. DYL.
    Anxious to hear what you decide to teach. Whatever it is, I’ll most likely be sitting in the front row!

  68. #78

    Oh another idea … I would love a class where you HONESTLY critique the work. Sometimes I see stuff in the gallery that is really awful and I see you post “politically correct” comments. I understand that, but I think it would be fun to be in a class where you stated up front you would give constructive criticism to make us all better. It could be Hard-Ass Scrapbooking … not for the thin-skinned, but for those of us who can take the criticism to make us better at taking the CRAP out of our scrapbooking.

  69. #80

    My previous comment referenced a photo organization class…gotta say I’ve taken a goodly number of classes from you and have always a) learned and b) been inspired; c) saddened to see them end.

    I loved Stacy’s year -long tour de force: Twelve and her newest collab with Jennifer Wilson: Art+Science – liked the format plus the twice a week challenges, etc. Also think Ali’s Hello Story rocked! Love seeing others’ processes.

    I think the sky’s the limit and it’s safe to say that if you offer it, I’ll be there!


  70. #81

    What Andrea W said! Yes, Yes, Yes!

    I’ve learned most of my PSE skills from Jessica Sprague’s classes and probably wouldn’t take a beginner class. A different kind of PSE class on quick and easy classes (making your own actions, how to do things faster, etc.) I would sign up for as soon as it opened. Especially if it was from you. I think you are about one of the funniest people on the planet!

    I loved MeTAV and although I didn’t finish it, that wasn’t the class it was was because of health reasons. I just recently found my little tag book for ideas and was thinking about starting the project again.

    I have taken classes of all lengths and don’t really have a favorite, but what I really want/need in a class is video content and you always provide that. Thanks!

    I can’t imagine how much your brain must be spinning with ideas and such right now. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    PS: And once you get the hang of your Silhouette, a class in that would be phenomenal!

  71. #82
    Ami E Pilon

    I wanted to comment before reading any of the others. I would love to take a class from you in Hybrid Project Life. With my new camera and my longing to continue with PL I often feel like I am stumbling between digital and paper. The desire for me is to be hybrid about it. Using the computer for some stuff and paper for other and keeping the traditional album. I think a 6-8 week course is about my limit.

  72. #83
    Beth R

    What she said. Exactly. I LOVE all of your Digi design elements. Even though I am a paper girl, I would love to learn my PSE and how to add those words (brushs??) to my photos, simple things really but not to me. I would love to learn from Basics 101, when I buy a kit or download something free?????? then what? how do I get it from you to me? how do I use it? what do I do when it gets into my winzip program? How do I find it again?
    Your videos are clear and I have watched many of them numerous times,your teaching style is down to earth and the perfect pace,just teach me the stuff you assume we already know….but we don’t.

  73. #84
    Beth R

    “Bad Ass Scrapbooking” with the one and only Bad Ass in the paper crafting industry Cathy Z.
    Love this idea !

  74. #86

    I was coming here to type almost the same thing word for word. Photoshop Elements from the very very beginning is what I would love!

  75. #87

    I’d love a class from you on C&S scrapbooking but NOT digital. I still go back to your older books all the time for inspiration 🙂

    I definitely limit myself on online classes or I’d be signing up for everything, all the time. Discovering BPC was bad for my wallet 🙂 I often don’t end up keeping up, unless I schedule it on my calendar and really make a commitment to myself.

    The ones I have kept up with were freakin’ amazing, and life changing, so I think I really need to focus on picking good courses and sticking with them. Those were Mondo Beyondo (workshop on dreaming big) and the BPC Phone Photography Class this summer.

    I also took a Studio Calico class last year that helped me get WAY more out of my Silhouette Cameo, and I still use that info now.

    I’ll often buy a class, and then go through the lessons later. I’m ok working through stuff without the rest of the “community”, though I’ve definitely found that I get a lot out of the community when I can stay with it.

  76. #88

    photoshop elements, and specifically how to use it for project life. i’ve looked at some of the tutorials, but would like a class that is step by step on creating digital layouts, journal cards, etc. my PSE skills are very weak.

  77. #89

    I would love a photobook class. One where we cate a themed digital album with the intent of printing a bound photobook at the end.

    I would love it even more if that photobook were a way to tell a sort of Us the Abridged Version. Maybe you arrived late to scrapbook, or took years off. Maybe you never made that baby book and need a way to get the story told (words + photos). Maybe you have a whole shed full of your child’s (or your own!) school stuff and can’t figure out how to condense that story into a finished album/photobook. The class would offera strategy for collecting old stories (or a story up to now) and getting it in a finished photobook.

  78. #90
    Dawn S.

    I have taken several of your on-line classes. Self paced classes definately work best for my. That being said, I would still take a class in another format (4 week, 12 week etc) if only offered that way – especially if you offered it. I would hugely benefit from a photo organization class. I’m a bit computer challenged and could use some help in that department. Thanks for all the nuggets you’ve given me in the past.
    Also, and this is a bit off topic, I almost peed my pants when I saw your framed pics of ‘killers of scary movies past’! Mostly because I just used the EXACT image of Jack Torrence in a Halloween mobile that I made using pics of past scary movie iconic characters. Even Damien from ‘The Omen’ made the list. My family thinks I’m weird – but now I simply need to share your post and they will understand that it’s perfectly normal behavior! Thanks for that!

  79. #93

    I do love the idea of a class that ends with a book! Hmmm. I really love Artifact Uprising. Might have to think about that!

  80. #94

    I do digital scrapbooking and love classes that give templates or sketches that I can try to develop in a template. I love classes that make me tell stories that I wouldn’t have thought of telling. I get caught up in event scrapbooking and taking classes that focus on both design and story telling help me make pages I wouldn’t have and make me really get excited about scrapbooking again. I would also love a class on using actions. I use photoshop elements so I don’t have as many available to me but when I use actions; they just look wrong. I love when other people use them though. I do use rad lab and am pretty happy with that one but I really only use a few of their options and probably don’t use it to its full potential. I also like classes with video instruction because it’s just easier to learn while watching a video.

  81. #95


    Very late to this party, but want to first say I LOVE your classes. Your teaching methods are spot on and very helpful in allowing us to tap into our creative potential.

    For me, I enjoy self-paced classes. This thing called life gets in the way and there is some extra stress involved with signing up for a class and running out of time.

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  82. #96

    I always see classes that I think would be nice to take but there are too many household distractions that I fear I won’t get everything (aka “commit”) I can out of it…I guess I’m old-fashioned like that! Showing up in person holds me accountable. BUT, that being said, I’ve also signed up for Brene’s class…so I’m hoping to challenge myself. I need this distraction so very much! 🙂

  83. #97
    Pilbara Pink

    Me too – I don’t own Photoshop but would buy it if you had a class on how to use it for complete beginners. My work roster (eight days on, six off) means self paced classes work best for me. I can devote quite a lot of time on my off days and nothing on my 12-hour working days.

  84. #98

    Is it too late???? I’d like to watch you design from the beginning. I don’t know if it’s a full class idea but I’d love to sit over your shoulder and watch you from the time you open photoshop until you save the final file. Since DYL I’ve been asking myself “how’d she do that?”

    I also love when you explain the design principals in your lo’s. “This is green because it tie the journaling together….”

    I too have taken a bunch of your classes. You are the only one out there teaching design and fonts and you fill a much needed gap. Your teaching style is fun ans quirky and easy to follow. I use the principals you teach every time I scrap.

    You used to do a section on your blog where you’d redesign a poorly designed lo. I miss those. For those of us just developing our eye for design it is had to look at a lo and figure out why how it could look better.

  85. #99
    Brandy J

    I loved your 10 tips for better type class. It was budget friendly, which is very important to me, and I learned a ton! I don’t know if I would have the attention span for the longer classes even if I could afford them… I can see myself saying I’ll go back to them, but I know myself much better than that. So please consider 1 or 2 short (and cheap 🙂 technique classes as well.

  86. #100

    I wondered if you would put the captions on your videos? I am deaf and love scrapbooking but get totally disappointed as most of the videos are voiced. It is hard for the Deaf to follow what tool or papers is being used in the videos. (Dont bother with “beta captions” as the captioning does not match the voice) Thank you

  87. #101

    Design your life saved my life, well my mental health anyway! It has formed the basis of my digital scrapbooking since. I second a DYL2. I can only afford to take a class a year, not so much from the money point of view but I get so involved that work and family come a distant second. Best for me is about 8 weeks, weekly video, handout and simple assignments. Each to their own – but self paced does not work for me. But that’s my personality – I need a deadline to get a job done. I get a little overwhelmed by all the layouts with soo much product – I so appreciate your focus on words and stories.

  88. #102

    Hi Cathy,
    I’m not into Digital scrapbooking at all (got to much stuff to go there!) BUT, I love YOU Cathy, I love your style, your sense of humour, your blog, your books!
    I live in New Zealand and I would love for you to come teach at the annual scrapbooking retreat I go to each April in Taupo, NZ, organised by Nic Howard (called Autumn Escape here).
    Please please come one year, we have had some awesome international tutors, but I want you! Pretty please??

  89. #103

    I think I have taken EVERY class you’ve offered through BPC. But Clean & Simple was/is hands-down my absolute FAVE! I did every layout the week it was introduced and one or two where I used the idea multiple times. The only thing I didn’t do from that class was the mini-album. Right now I am mostly digital, prefer technique and tips to project-oriented classes, and having said that, would still take anything you offered! I would LOVE to see a Clean & Simple 2 with more advanced techniques (offering the templates premade as well). Your style of breaking out the videos to shorter segments worked PERFECTLY last go round.

    P.S. I’m also signed up for the Brene Brown class. Her stuff is life-changing!

  90. #104

    I would love to take a class on design principals. In short, teach me how to use the tools (rule of thirds, leading, white space, etc.) of graphic design to create any page/story I want to create. I would also love to apply the concepts I learn from the class to help in my job, where I am often asked to create all sorts of projects.

  91. #105

    Hi Cathy, it’s so interesting to see what interests people. I would love to see a class which shows how you start with the massive amount of input (story ideas photos, memorabilia, etc,) and narrow it down to what appears on the PL spread, and why you chose what you did and left out what you did. I read somewhere that art is as much about what you choose to leave out as it is about what you choose to leave in. I feel like most if the pl discussion is about the “what you put in” and not how to discern what you should leave out. I love my kids and life and feel totally drowned on a weekly basis with the sheer amount of inspiration coming in. I get overwhelmed and end up quitting, or I create pages so overwhelmed with detail that they are not enjoyable – they feel like work to read. Clean and simple PL is harder than it looks. I too have taken many of your classes, you are an excellent teacher and just plain fun to “hang out” with. Thanks!

  92. #106

    I would love to see a class with exact steps on managing my iPhone pictures and photo streams also transferring. Pictures from phone to computer such as procedures and folder ideas. And lastly exact procedures for weekly downloads for project life or anything scrapbooking. I do not have any set procedure or method for getting my photos off my phone. Nothing set up for printing and managing my photos. I would love photo management help!!!!

  93. #107

    another for clean and simple. I would love to take a font class on using text for impact. I love your style and there is very few people like it out in the industry.
    However, I would like to see more budget friendly classes.. $99 is just not happening. My suggestion would be to take the $100 class and break it up into 4 classes, payment plan or just make them less expensive. I would love to have taken a couple of your other classes, but I just didn’t have that much disposable income to pay for it.

  94. #108
    Ann Kearns

    I’m not sure if you are still reading comments on this one and, boy!, you sure have a lot of input already but I’d just like to add that I really want to do a Digital Project Life Album…but I am having so much trouble getting going with this.

    I’ve heard some not so great reviews on the quality of Shutterfly books, so I thought of just doing the pages myself and then saving them to print a book at the end of the year somewhere else…but I’m not sure where to print it. I’d really like a nice, quality, lay-flat book at the end of the year, but they are so expensive that I then think, maybe I should just print them as 8 1/2 x 11 and shove them in a binder. Then i think, well, that’s ugly. So…i go back to square one and get nothing done.

    I’d love a class to help me through this!!

  95. #109

    I loved your “Me the Abridged Version”, both the hybrid and digital versions. It’s about time for this again, don’t you think, only in Project Life version??? The 12-week format works out nicely — it gives everyone a little breathing room somewhere in the middle….and we ll need breathing room once in a while….

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