Category Archives: Reviews

Craftsy Teaches Flower Painting: A Review

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I’ve mentioned Craftsy before, back in this post, where I revealed the rose painting, that was created taking the Painting Flowers in Acrylics. Before I get too far away from that experience, I wanted to sum it all up with a little review.

I have no connection with Craftsy whatsoever. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.

If you haven’t heard about Craftsy before, it is basically a website where you can take crafting classes online. Some are free, and some you pay for, but there are topics for anyone who has even the slightest creative bent. The free classes are a great way to give it a try, and that is exactly what the Flower Painting class is. Free.

But free does not mean second rate. The main difference, as I am experiencing it, is that with the free classes you do not get any additional interaction with the instructor, as you do with the paid classes. I’m currently taking another acrylic painting class that I did pay for, so I’ll let you know how that one goes, and if there are other differences.

Back to the flower painting. This “class” had approximately 100 minutes of instruction, just a little over 1-1/2 hours. Once enrolled, it’s yours until, I suppose, Craftsy doesn’t exist anymore, so you can repeat it over and over if you want (that’s true of any of their classes).

The instructor, Micah Ganske, goes over the underpainting, blocking in the colors and layering the colors, and finally, adding the highlights. That’s really a lot of ground to cover, and you are not going to learn more nuanced techniques of mixing your colors, or how to draw the flowers. Painting 101 it is not. In my blog post linked above, I documented my progress, which basically followed the course.

Initially, I tried to paint along with the videos. Um. Yeah, that doesn’t really work. For one thing, duh, they are edited, so he isn’t painting in real time. What I found worked the best was to watch the video lesson all the way through, and then work on my painting going back to review in places that I needed the repetition.

There are questions posted alongside each video that deal with the topic being discussed at the time. In a free lesson, the questions are answered by other students, and I did, in fact, learn quite a bit from my fellow students.

Best tip from a student… use chalk to draw your outline. That technique worked better for me, than the one that Micah was teaching. Which doesn’t his bad, I just didn’t have success with it.

I would rate this course advanced beginner, and I would definitely recommend it. It was great for trying out a online craft class platform, without making a huge investment or either time or money.

Keeping in mind that it is free, if you only learn one thing (and I definitely think you will learn more), it is worth a try.

 

 

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True and Company, a Review: Not All Bad, Not All Good

My Photo StreamRecently, my young, hip daughter introduced me to a new way to buy bras through a company called True and Co. I was curious, but when she sent me a promotion* to try it, I decided why not. Bra shopping, for me, is tedious at best, and the opportunity to try on bras for free seemed ideal.

Their gimmick is “no fitting rooms, no measuring tape”, and the first step is to guide you through a “fitting quiz” to determine your best size using, I’m sure, complicated algorithms to determine said size. This is all well and good, but one of the first questions asks what size your favorite bra is, and the manufacturer of that bra. Not surprisingly, to me anyway, the size that True chose for me was the same one. Hmmm.

OK, I’m still game, so the page for bra selection pops up, and, as directed, I choose 3. The company bra choosers select 2 more for you (which is kind of like Christmas!). And they send you the package. You do enter your credit card info, because if you don’t send back the ones you don’t want in 5 days, they are yours! I certainly don’t have a problem with that. Because you know that going in. Don’t try this kind of shopping experiment when you don’t have time to follow the rules. It’s as simple as that.

The real fun starts when your box arrives. I’m not going to go through how I felt about each bra, because that isn’t my point here. Suffice it to say that I did keep one, and sent 4 back. The one I kept was, for the record, one that I chose. *about that promotion… read the fine print… it was for $25 off my purchase of $100. oops… i didn’t meet the $100 threshold. i wasn’t going to buy more just to save $25 though.

Did the method work? Well, sure, it worked for me. I’ve read some other reviews, and bloggers loved it or they hated it (and when they hated it, they truly bashed it). There are 2 main problems, as I see it, and the first is not really a “problem” but rather a company limitation.

1. Their size range is limited to average sizes. In response to criticism, True and Co now says something to the effect, if you are out of their size range, “I’m sorry, we don’t have your size, check back later because we might get a larger range.” I don’t know the exact wording because I do happen to be an average size, but you get the gist. Apparently, in the beginning, they tried to “suggest” a size in the range they carried, even when it was clearly not right for the customer. Oops.

2. You really can’t fit a bra properly without using a measuring tape at least once. Those numbers associated with bra sizes? They are derived from measurements. Cup sizes, ditto. It’s a great starting point, and if your favorite bra is not the right size, all the algorithmic calculations will really be meaningless, IMO.

Will I shop there again? I guess that’s the bottom line for any company. To get return customers. I might. How’s that for noncommital.

Should you try it? Yeah, if you are fairly confident you are in the right size to begin with, and you fall into the average range of sizes, i.e., what you might find at your major department store.

Happy Bra Shopping!