Wow, lots to unpack here so grab a cup of tea or coffee and let’s catch up.
I spent some time over the summer working on getting a plan together for the future. I’ve had a few starts and stops over the past year (after a full creative crash the year before the pandemic started) but now feel I have a solid plan going forward. I’ll get the less fun stuff out of the way first and then tell you about all of the exciting new projects I am planning.
My husband is finally back at his office after over two and a half years so I got my kit packing room back! I’ve spent that time while he was home working slipping in when I could and on the weekends, but things are all moved around so it was had to find things quickly. I can now FINALLY get organized to get more of this past stuff out the door on a more regular basis. I feel like I’ve said this a million times but I HONESTLY do appreciate the patience so many of you have shown regarding some of the projects still needing to be sent to you. I can’t give a specific time frame but I’m shooting for by the end of the year. Please continue to have patience regarding kits to be sent as I have a method to my madness for sending them out. They will ALL be addressed. If you prefer to receive store credit in lieu of an unshipped kit, that can be done.
Another subject that has weighed on me is the Maple Street and Once Upon a Time deposits. I do not want to add to my shipping load so here is the plan: I am designing 3 houses for each deposit. They will include written/video tutorials and and digital papers. No kits will be shipped, it will be all digital. They will not include new albums.The Maple Street houses will be cute houses instead of shops. Each is different but work together as a set and will be on a similar scale as Maple Street. The Once Upon a Time houses are tentatively going to be a Hansel and Gretel house (perfect for Christmas decor), Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother house, and the 3rd is still being determined. The plan is to have one per month, alternating between MS and OUAT, starting with MS in late October. I will try to stay on schedule but it may sometimes slip a week or two here and there. All should be done by March-ish next spring. If you would prefer store credit, I can do that as well.
Next, Paper Doodles is going to shut down. It’s not being used so it’s crazy to keep it. I will create a new FB group that will be public vs private but may moderate comments instead. If necessary we can make it private but I can’t change a private group like PD to public so this is the only way to do it. It’s time to move on.
Next, I’ve had a Patreon group for the past year. On it I had digital downloads for the top two levels and shipped packets of goodies for the top level. I had originally planned to have videos and other projects there but it never really evolved into that so it is ending at the end of September. Those involved will be sent more info this week. Many of the digital sets I created have been added to my website. All digital papers and sets have been on sale for several weeks and I will continue the sale until October 15. The sets from Patreon are smaller and geared more towards albums, books, and journals and are included in the sale.
OK! That was a lot! Now for the fun stuff! As many know, the paper crafting industry has moved more towards journals versus albums. I also know many like to still do albums. Some of you like the “artsy” look for books and others like a more traditional look. I think I have a solution.
With the pandemic came many new options for online teaching. As one of the trailblazers in this area, I am amazed at the options now versus the stuff we had to struggle with years ago. I am choosing to go with one of these new options and do these classes on the Teachable platform. Many of you may already be familiar with this platform especially designed for online classes. For those who aren’t, its super user friendly, easier than my doing it on my website. My “school” or classroom is called Following the Paper Trail (a shout out to Youtube teaching where it all began). I will have it linked from my website or you can go there directly. You will be able to watch the videos and download any digitals right there on the platform.
I have scheduled a new series that I am calling “Every Trick in the Book”. It will be set up as a subscription where you will be charged a small fee each month rather than a chunk up front. You can opt out at any time. (though you will lose access to the video if you leave before the six months is up). There will be a limited sign up period until from Oct 1 to Oct 15. I may reopen again Jan 1 if there is demand. (It will also be available after the 6 month period to purchase as an ecourse.) At the end of six months, you will continue to have access to all of the videos. This subscription will be set up in 6 month sections for creating books that that can be albums or journals or a hybrid of the two. During each section, we will work on 2-3 books, each with a variation of the binding and a different visual style and techniques. Use what you like, and enjoy watching the rest. The first few weeks will be the basics: Materials, Covers, Binding, and Signatures or Pages. After that we will begin the embellishing process with a video or two available each week. Embellishments will include: Pockets and Tuck spots, Folders, Cascades, Tri-folds, Belly Bands and Bulletin Bars, Closures, Page Tabs, Tags (lots of tag ideas!), Charms and Book Jewelry, and using Found Junk. The releases of the videos will spread over the six months. I have approximately a quarter to a third of them already filmed so I will be able to stay ahead of it.
I will have two price levels, one is just access to all the videos and the second will be the videos plus a new digital set (much like the Patreon sets) available each month. These digitals can be used in your book(s) or you can add to your digital stash. I also have a method for you to be able to use store credit for the Teachable classes. Please let me know if you want to use existing store credit or if you wish to trade in an older project you have not yet received for store credit to use. You can’t do it directly on Teachable so you will need to contact me to do so. I will also continue to create goodie packs like I did on Patreon however, for now, they will be Ala carte in my website store.
The first 6 month unit on Teachable will be “Every Trick in the Book: Take Out Books” using variations of my Take Out binding. There will be both journal signatures and album style pages. Use one or the other or both! At the end of six months, you can choose to stay on with the next unit. Each unit will be a separate “course” so the units don’t jumble together. I am tentatively thinking the next course will be Matchbook style books. I will let you know well in advance. I have already set up a private FB group for all who join this series to share their work. It will also be a place for us to possibly have some live class sections occasionally.
I am also considering having a color palette each month with a small project to try out the colors. A great way to try out different color combos and techniques. The small project can be a stand alone mini project or as an insert into your bigger book. This may end up being a free mini course in my Teachable school that anyone can sign up for and view for free.
In the future, I hope to use the Teachable platform for other projects…I have a few in mind: a couple of 3D projects, and a color course. I’ll keep you posted.
I think this touches on everything I have going on past and present. Please continue to have patience regarding kits to be sent as I have a method to my madness for sending them out.
A lot to digest, I know! I’m just trying to move forward in a way that works for me and my family as well as all of you.