What happens when a dozen scrapbookers meet every Thursday?

Challenges, praise, suggestions, ribbing, self-knowledge, inspiration, light-bulb moments and a whole lot of scrapbooking!

We’ve got two workshop groups starting up on April 11th with a limit of 12 students in each group. That’s 24 spots. Will you grab one of them today?

[box]Registration is closed. The next session will run in September 2013.[/box]

In a well-run critique group, the goal is not to tell a designer what’s wrong with a piece. Rather, it is to give the designer the opportunity to “see” his or her work through the eyes of others and find out if and why it appeals to them. What draws the eye first? How does it make the viewer feel? What is the story the viewer takes away? What might she or he change if it were their page?

the critique workshop

Participating in a critique group allows you to:

  • understand the impact your work makes.  You (hopefully) understand how a piece of your work affects you, yourself ( you know how  you look at it and what you take away from it). But what grabs others? Where does your viewer’s eye go first on the page? How involved in/interested in the page are they? What do they think it’s about? What mood/feeling/associations did it evoke for them?
  • learn how to weight and use criticism. You get multiple eyes on a piece and voices weighing in. This creates a mechanism for deciding which advice to take and which to decline. Every critic comes at a piece with some degree of subjectivity and personal preference, but with several opinions you’ll find there are always some words of advice repeated and, thus, important to consider.
  • gain objectivity about your own work for the re-visioning process. As you get repeated feedback you learn to see in new ways. What’s more, you learn how to step back after finishing a page and consider it with less subjectivity. You learn how to spot things that should be changed on your own.
  • hone your craft. Seeing your work and the work of others considered by a group over and over again, you will see visual design in action and internalize the principles and elements so that they become second nature – so that your eye and your hand are confident.
  • evolve your style and try new things. You will go new places with your craft when you’re in a critique group as a result of several aspects of the experience including: the assignments, seeing what others create that you like and the changes you make as a result of feedback.

the guided study critique workshop

(getting a leg up)

The quality of your experience in a critique group is directly affected by the level of proficiency your fellow group members possess. Thus, many of us looking for feedback find ourselves in a “chicken-or-the-egg” situation. How do you get into a critique group with skilled groupmates if you, yourself, are still learning?

A guided-study critique group takes care of this challenge. In a guided-study critique group, you not only get feedback on whatever page you made this week, you study focused topics together with your group and create assignments around those topics.

Additionally, you are led by experienced designers who keep you on track and guide everyone in getting questions answered and assimilating feedback and opinions. As a result, you and your groupmates develop the skills to give solid feedback, yourselves.

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students in our workshops say:

This is the most unique online class I’ve ever taken since I began enrolling in online classes 5 years ago. It feels like I am taking a professional level design course, which I am! The readings are informative, the assignments are specific, and the feedback is delivered in a useful and encouraging manner. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to sharpen their design sense and learn to see their work in an objective manner. – Sue Althouse


I have enjoyed other online scrapbooking classes, yet I consider this experience to have been superior.  Having a live discussion of 12 layout examples each week that demonstrated a design principle reinforced those concepts in my mind.  It is a method of learning that really suited me.  And, sensitive Scorpio that I am, I didn’t get my feelings hurt (not even once). –Susanne Brauer


I’m loving it. I’m applying it. I’m dreaming it. And I want more already! – Ronnie Crowley


I love how you’ve laid the class out. I’m actually in awe of it. I homeschool my son and do my own lesson plans, so I appreciate how well the material is delivered, how structured it is and how much you’ve packed in four weeks in way that makes these sometimes elusive concepts understandable. I would recommend it to anyone, at any level, to learn about our craft. – Carrie Caulfield


Having access to some brilliant creative minds is the beauty of this online class. The creative team’s capacity to support and nurture participants through the creative design process is seemingly tireless and inspirational. This class has given me greater insight into my own processes and has supported my development in understanding design components and their application to not only scrapbooking pages but also art journaling and any other creative process. – Celia Meehan


As a teacher, I can appreciate the planning and preparation that has gone into the delivery of this course: the resources are excellent- well-written, clear and concise; the structured lessons deliver the content effectively; the application tasks are very relevant; and the feedback is timely, generous, and constructive. For me, this has proven to be of great value, and well worth the time and money I’ve invested. If the course finished this week, I’d be satisfied. You’ve packed in a lot of learning in a few short weeks! – Kelley Fewer


This class has been just the kick-start I needed and I finally feel like I’m sinking my teeth into scrapbooking instead of just dipping my toe in the water now and then. – Sandie Conry


The course is definitely chock full. What I am amazed by is how concepts are coming together for me now. I sort of had a grasp on things. Now I see them more clearly, and I am feeling a lot more confident about some concepts now. – Christy Strickler


I came into this class thinking I already knew a fair amount about design, having spent the last few years reading about/listening to/watching design info for scrapbookers and others.  What I was hoping to get, and am getting, is feedback on how well I’m actually using what I know in my designs.  What I’m also getting is a deeper understanding of what I thought I knew.  What I love about GIS and MSD is the sheer wealth of information you put out there.  So much to absorb and digest, and this class is no exception.  – Laura Kaplan 


how it works


You will study with 2 workshop leaders (check them out below!). You’ll submit 2 layouts for feedback every Wednesday. On Thursday, we’ll workshop one of them and by the next Monday, you’ll have written feedback on the other one.

You may submit revisions, ask questions, and chat in our private forum.

You will need to purchase White Space Is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design by Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen, and you’ll receive other readings in pdf format.

Each session we’ll focus on 4 aspects of design — but the critique sessions will cover any and all aspects in addition to the focus topics.  In April we’re covering the following: Week 1: focus/emphasis; Week 2: contrast; Week 3: balance;Week 4: repetition


We are offering two sessions of this workshop starting April 11. Each has a different team of teachers and a different live webinar time. Each of these sessions has a maximum of 12 seats. 


Daytime Workshop

with Emily Pitts Paula Gilarde
meeting at 1pm ET Thursdays


Evening Workshop

with Celeste Smith and Doris Sander
meeting at 8pm ET Thursdays

Refund policy on Guided Study Workshop: if you complete all of the assignments over the 4 weeks and are unsatisfied, you may present the assignments and we will consider your request for a refund. But, really, we want to make sure you’re happy, so if you encounter any problems during the program, tell me (Debbie)! We will do our very best to make sure this class gives you value.

the teachers

Emily Pitts has designed for manufacturers and kit clubs, most recently Cocoa Daisy, Maya Road, Simple Stories, and the write.click. scrapbook Collective. Emily writes for Scrapbook and Cards Today and, until its recent decision to cease publication, BHG Scrapbooks Etc. Emily has designed for Studio Calico, October Afternoon, Scrapbook Destination, and Sassafras Lass. Check out Emily’s blog at Here I am, Here I am.   Paula Gilarde is a 2007 Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame Winner, and, along with Doris, another early teacher at Get It Scrapped. Paula has designed for 3M/Piggy Tales, Kraft Girl Kits, Core’dinations Cardstock, and, currently, for Designer Digitals and Jillibean Soup, and the write.click.scrapbook Collective. She’s written for the Scrap Review in the past and current for Scrapbook and Cards Today. See Paula’s creations at PaulaGilarde.com.   Celeste Smith has been publishing scrapbook pages in magazines and books since 2005. A former ambassador for Simple Scrapbooks magazine, she has designed for paper and digital manufacturers including Jenni Bowlin Studio, Jillybean Soup, KI Memories, Creative Memories, American Crafts, Prima, Kenner Road, and Provo Craft. She currently designs for the write.click.scrapbook Collective, Sweet Shoppe Designs, and Design House Digital. Read more at her blog my life in lowercase.   Doris Sander is currently the marketing director and a designer for Jenni Bowlin Mercantile. Doris was one of the first teachers at Get It Scrapped and she is currently on the Get It Scrapped Creative Team. Her work has been published many many times in magazines including Scrapbook Trends, Creating Keepsakes, BHG Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers, and Cards. You can see more of Doris’s work and stories on her blog, {me}anderings.

Debbie Hodge, a graduate of both writing and scrapbooking workshops, prepares the lessons, facilitates and contributes to workshops, and is here to help you out in the forums and via email. Debbie workshopped extensively when writing fictions, studying at summer writer’s retreats, in an ongoing weekly workshop in the  home of Atlantic Monthly Senior Editor C. Michael Curtis, and with friends she met in workshops. She met three of the workshop leaders, Doris, Celeste, and Paula, in an online scrapbooking workshop–and Emily through Paula. She believes that critiquing workshops build skills and connections, and is thrilled to bring you that experience.

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