Full Tilt Boogie!

So lately it seems like there are a plethora of on-line classes in every type of art/craft imaginable.  How do you separate the chaffe from the wheat?  I don’t have the answer, but I sure wish I did.  I bought two on-line classes in the past month, one of which was awesome.  The other?  Not so much. 

So here’s a plea to would-be on-line instructors: If you’re going to charge people to learn something from you, take the time to earn that money by preparing ahead of time.  Also?  Just because you can film yourself goofing around in your craft room doesn’t mean you should.   Decide what you’re going to need and what you’re going to do, and please, please, PLEASE invest in a decent video editing program.  (I have a free one that works just fine.)  And then you can remove all those parts of your video in which you’re trying to figure out what to do next (those long, awkward silences), the parts where you realize you’ve messed up and have to start over, and the parts where you can’t find that tool you were going to use in your demo and spend a full minute searching for it in your messy craft area.  Seriously, I’d rather watch my cat taking a nap for a full hour than watch you hem and  haw for 30 seconds every couple of minutes (even if she didn’t twitch and squeak adorably while she sleeps).  Would-be instructors, DO NOT BORE ME!  I have a life!!!

Okay, are we clear on that?  Thank you.  (And do I sound bitter about money wasted on a really bad class that I could have used to buy amazing art supplies instead?  Yeah, probably I am.)

So now let’s talk about the good class I signed up for.  No, not just good – GREAT.  Wonderful, fabulous, amazing, even!  The class is called Full Tilt Boogie and the instructor is the awesome Mary Ann Moss.  Mary Ann knows what she’s doing, knows how to get her expertise across to her students, and does so with panache and humor and a clear understanding of how artistic/crafty people think.  I absolutely love her style and her friendly way of putting you at ease and making you feel like you can do anything!  Once this class is over, I won’t hesitate to take another.  Whoo-hoo, Mary Ann!  Love ya!

So let’s get on to what Full Tilt Boogie is all about!  What we’re doing is making awesome art journals from old Victorian photo albums.  Mary Ann had us acquire these ahead of time, providing good sources and search hints to find the perfect one.  (I’m afraid I got a little carried away and bought four!  But it’s good to have choices, right?)  She also provides ideas for alternatives and examples of what else can work.  Mary Ann’s videos are such a pleasure to watch and the project is sooooo inspiring.  I got started right away!  Choosing and preparing the inside papers took the longest, but it was super fun, and once that was done, the binding went quickly and I was able to finish this morning after starting three nights ago and working two 12-hour days in between!

Of course, the first time for everything can be fraught with mistakes…and I certainly did make a few!  (No, I’m not going to mention what they were!)  Having made them, though, I’ll be better prepared for the next one – and Mary Ann did suggest we do a practice journal first, which in hindsight would’ve been a good idea.  But practice makes perfect – and my next one will be even better!

The album I chose was an Etsy find.  The spine had pretty much given up the ghost, but the front and back covers were in decent enough shape.  The left edge of the front cover started to separate, so I repaired it with 7 Gypsies striped tape.   I love the shabby look!

I chose soft, feminine themes and colors for the inside papers so they’d go well with the cover.  They’re just itching to be filled with pictures and journaling!  Here are some of my favorites:


11 Responses to “Full Tilt Boogie!”

  1. Sabrina Hall Hoeke Says:

    I could not agree more about online classes. It is MY pet peeve when they don’t offer up the supply list ahead of time, especially when they only have the videos available for a limited time. Also, a PDF file for each lesson is SO helpful. Seeing instructions in writing in addition to the video really seals the deal for me.

    As for your album, it is just gorgeous. The work you put into it really shows. It’s so rich and . . . full, your just want to get your hands on it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nancy Lynn Says:

    I think your album journal is fantastic. I love the cover of it. That was a great find. I am just starting mine…..I’m slow on this one. I have taken all of Mary Ann’s classes and they are all fabulous.

  3. Emie Says:

    I found my way here for the FTB Yahoo group where you told of your woes with the uneven number of holes…. I have to say thank you b/c I’m planning to not have a ribbon to tie my journal shut and this is exactly something I would do. Your journal is FANTABULOUS!!! I love how you kept the inside pages in the same theme as the cover of your album.

  4. Barbara Hagerty Says:

    Lisa, I was having such a good time reading your wonderful post–I agree with you whole-heartedly, by the way–that I completely forgot there would be pics of your journal as I scrolled down. WOW what a treat! I’m droooooling over the gorgeous cover, and the striped tape was the perfect, healing choice! The papers you chose for the pages perfectly compliment the cover. WOW again. I LOVE it!

  5. Cindy Says:

    Beautiful. I am considering taking her stenciling class. I love stenciling.

  6. Holly Says:

    Hello, Lisa! I love your FTB journal. The binding is nice and the paper combinations you used look great!

  7. Lorraine Says:

    Gorgeous FTB journal – the cover is to die for and your papers are the prettiest! I wandered over after reading your post on the FTB class site – you’re welcome to sit with me in the class – I don’t care if your binding isn’t perfect.:)

  8. Linda Says:

    I love your FTB journal and the pages are fabulous! Nice work!! Trust me we are all not perfect! I took MA’s ROD class and sewed the whole cover backwards and it opens wrong but I still love it and enjoyed that class immensely as well!! sad when you take someone else’s class and have such a bad experience!! you really do have to be good at what you do esp to “teach” it to others and online!! have fun creating! I hope to work on mine soon have been working on some others and trying to get my fiber work done too that I have been procrastinating on!! :))

  9. Cynthia Says:

    Lisa, I too followed the link from the FTB Yahoo group as I so enjoyed reading your tale of woe (oops, not that I mean I enjoyed that you had a problem but that your writing style was so entertaining!). Great post and your album is absolutely beautiful, I love the colour palette you used! A chimp that knows enough to ask for help and carries on in spite of a few bumps in the road is a smart chimp indeed. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  10. Jacqui Says:


  11. jan Says:

    Your selection of papers coordinate so nicely with the lovely cover. Thanks for showing us your wonderful results from this class.

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