Were you able to attend one or both of Donna Downey's classes at EMI Scrapbooking in Cumming, GA this weekend? If not, I hate to tell you this, but you missed an amazing experience.
You know the name Donna Downey from her days as a contributor at Simple Scrapbooks and from her name being on some of your favorite products. You know the name Donna Downey because she's a scrapbook "celeb." You know the name Donna Downey because it's alliterative & fun to say. But did you know that she's a fabulous teacher & puts on a great class? Did you know that she's cool & down-to-earth?
Donna's first class Saturday was a 6-hour fabric scrapbooking workshop entitled "gotta love the everyday."
The second class was a 3-hour paint, watercolor, doodle workshop making an acrylic & chipboard album entitled "laugh often, wonder and live artfully." I wasn't present for the first class, but I was fortunate enough to have a chance to audit the second one.
Sure, I expected that Donna would teach some impressive techniques. Have you seen the sample project pictures she has posted online? And the supply list involved? A little intimidating for this traditional and "simple" scrapbooker. (Donna Downey Workshops)
What I didn't expect was for the class to be educational, fun, encouraging, entertaining & inspiring! Donna didn't just teach the group some snazzy new techniques. She gave each crafter the encouragement and tools needed to embrace and enjoy her mixed-media, "no rules" techniques. Her positive attitude and sense of humor gave everyone the "guts" they needed to try the new techniques and to see the possibilities for incorporating them into their own projects.
Let me give you a few quotes from the evening, to give you an example of her fun, encouraging style:
"Okay, are you ready? This is really going to blow your mind!" (What followed what a lesson on how to write, backwards, mirrored and in cursive. Whoah!)
When asked what color to use? The answer: "Whatever color makes you happy – that's the right color."
When told by a class participant that she planned to go home & redo one of her pages, Donna responded: "Never go backward. Always go forward." And then she proceeded to show us ALL of the mistakes that she had made in the very book that she used as an example for the class. And she showed us how, where possible, she had turned those mistakes into opportunities for more photos, embellishments, and creativity.
When a participant was hesitant about her work, Donna said, "I gotta be honest with you. That's pretty damn good!"
And when the class started to see how beautifully the project was coming together, Donna responded: "And just think — We haven't even doodled, fitched, eyeleted or photoed yet!" (A "fitch" is her word for a fake stitch, drawn on with pen.)
Yep, I didn't even make the project and I found the evening to be fun, enriching and inspiring. I can only imagine how those who did the projects felt! Next time you have a chance to attend a Donna Downey class, do whatever you need to do to GO.
Want to read more about our evening with Donna? See parts II and III of our series later this week, which will include excerpts from my interview with Donna, some things you probably didn't know about her, and some sneak peeks of the new products she'll be revealing at CHA later this month.
Many thanks to EMI Scrapbooking and to Donna & Bill Downey for allowing me and PaperCrafter's Corner such a wonderful opportunity.
Related Post: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Donna Downey