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Happy Labor Day Sale from Nicole’s Classes!

**Update: This sale has been extended through Friday, September 6th at 11:59pm PST!**
Labor Day Sale

Happy Labor Day from Nicole’s Classes! In honor of the holiday, we’re having a sale over the long weekend! Starting now through Monday, September 2nd at 11:59pm PST, use the code NCLABORDAY25 at checkout to save 25% off your entire online class purchase!

That means you could learn to take amazing images in Photo 101, to design your own invitations in Illustrator 101, or to edit your pictures to perfection in Lightroom 101 for less than $100! Or you could learn to make your own home decor items in Sewing 101 or how to paint your own wall art in Watercolor 101 for less than $60!

So while you’re savoring the last bits of summer over this long weekend, don’t forget to sign up for a few classes and save!

A Favorite Floral Source

Jamali Garden is a great source for tools, vases, and supplies. Here are a few of my favorites:

Floral Arranging Supplies

These little square ceramic vases work great for hand-tied bouquets or a casual bunch of hyacinth.

Floral Arranging Supplies

These pruners are great for thick, woody stems like lilacs and viburnum.

http://www.jamaligarden.com/detail/24755/91/floral-supplies/floral-basics/4in-green-wired-picks-set-of-375.php

These wire picks are great for incorporating fruit into an arrangement.

Floral Arranging Sources

This twine is great for binding hand-tied bouquets.

Curious about how you can take these tools, add some flowers and come out with amazing arrangements? Let me teach you how in my Floral Arranging 101 class!

Student Work Wednesday!

That’s right, it’s a few days early (because we have some Back to School Party news and a Labor Day treat to share later this week)!

First, we have a before and after from our Photoshop 101 student Idalia Herrera. She used what she learned about selections to duplicate the iPhone on top of the laptop (before picture on top, after below). What a cool time saving trick!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Next, we have another beautiful arrangement from Samantha Feld Samuelson (we also featured here work here) in our Floral Arranging 101 class. We love her wild English arrangement assignment — the colors, the shape and the stunning photo make us swoon!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

And one more unique piece from our Floral Arranging class from student Natalie Bowman. She told us she loved this assignment, and was able to use all flowers and greenery from her own yard and her mother-in-law’s yard. How special!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Are you inspired by these to learn something new like Floral Arranging our Photoshop too? Sign up for an online class today!

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday

This is how about we’re feeling this week (thanks for the photo Nicole!), and we apologize for this little break from our regularly scheduled blog posts. We’ll be back tomorrow and later this week with updates on our Back to School Party, some amazing student work and a special discount code for the Labor Day weekend!

Stay tuned and happy Tuesday!

Are You Coming to the Party?

**UPDATED — The Back to School Party has been postponed! Stay tuned for more details soon!**

BacktoSchool_Extras-01

We’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Student Work post next Friday, but this week, we have a little favor to ask of you (and we promise, it’s really little)!

We’d love to get a sense of how many people are planning to attend our Back to School Party in Utah County on Wednesday, September 4th from 6-9pm. We haven’t released all the details (they’ll be coming next week), but if you have it on your calendar and you wouldn’t miss the chance for 50% off classes and free prizes, please let us know.

If you’re planning on attending, click here or click the image above to RSVP.

Thanks a bunch!

Lightroom 101: Understanding White Balance

When people ask me how to make their images look more professional, I tell them that the most important thing is to pay attention to White Balance (Color Temperature). My first step whenever I work with an image is to adjust the white balance. You may have noticed settings on your camera such as “Cloudy,” “Sunny,” or “Flash,” etc. These all refer to different color temperature values. “Warm” (yellow) and “Cool” (blue) are common terms used to describe the color temperature in images.

Lightroom provides incredibly easy tools to adjust the white balance. In my 101 class, I show many time saving techniques for making these adjustments and I want to share some examples that illustrate the impact white balance can have.

**White balance adjustments, along with all Lightroom adjustments, are non-destructive. You have the freedom to experiment because you are never touching your original image and can ALWAYS undo or reset.**

Here is an example of an image I took that was set to Auto White Balance in the camera — as you can see the color doesn’t look quite right. The skin is too warm/yellow and the greenery doesn’t look like it did in real life.

white balance_1

Lower white balance values will make your images “cooler” while higher values will make your images “warmer.” The white balance value on the image above is 5050. I am going to change it to 3000 (a lower value to make it cooler, more blue). Below is an example of this change:

white balance_4

This is a bit extreme, but shows the impact that a white balance adjustment can have. Now, I will change the white balance value to 7000 (warmer/more yellow). Below is an example:

white balance_3

This is also a bit extreme, but now in the opposite direction. It is definitely too yellow for this image, but you can see how easily you can change the feel and look of an image with one simple adjustment.

Below is an example of the final image after I adjusted the white balance to how I would like it to look. It ended up at a value of 4186.

white balance_2

The skin tone looks natural and the greenery looks like it did in real life.

If you’re interested in making your images look more professional and polished, I will teach you how to master this and many other tools in the Lightroom 101 online lass.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the class or this post!

 

**Note: One of the benefits of working with RAW files is the ability to adjust the white balance at any point in time after you’ve shot the image regardless of how it was set up in your camera(Cloudy, Sunny etc). If you are shooting in jpeg only mode, you can adjust the White Balance in Lightroom, but there is color information permanently attached to those files from the second you click the shutter on your camera and you can only adjust them to a certain extent. This is the main reason to always shoot RAW.

Select Crafting Classes Now Only $75!

Select Crafting Classes Now $75!

That’s right folks! Starting in September, Watercolor 101 and Sewing 101 will have a new lower price of just $75!

Have you been wanting to paint your own art pieces like Monica (you can see some of what she does with her watercolor talent here and here)? Or been dying to learn how to sew your own clothes, housewares or gifts like Theresa (you can see some of her amazingly detailed tutorials here and here)? We know both of these classes require an additional cost for materials (paints, paper, fabric, patterns, etc.) so we wanted to lower the price to reflect that.

That means now is definitely  the perfect time to learn these two amazing crafts with Nicole’s Classes!  So dust off that sewing machine in the garage or grab your painter’s palette, and sign up to learn a cool and creative new skill today!

Student Work Roundup

Student Work

Nicole's Classes Student Work

We get a lot of questions here at Nicole’s Classes about what class is right for someone based on their interest or needs. For example, “If I want to learn to create _______, which class do I take?” So, in keeping with our roundup theme from earlier this week, we wanted to link to some student work from the past that will show you what you can learn to do in a few of our online classes!

**Considering enrolling in our Floral Arranging 101 class? If you want to arrange flowers for your home, professionally or for special events like a friend’s wedding, this is a great first step! You can see some breathtaking florals here, here and here.

Or you can just take a look at the BEAUTIFUL arrangement posted above by our August student Samantha Feld Samuelson!

**Is Illustrator 101 the right class for you? It is if you’d like to create basically anything designed that you see on the internet (including everything on our site!) like posters, invitations, cards and more! You can see examples of amazing student work from our 101 class and subsequent Illustrator classes here, here, here, here and here.

If you have any questions about which of our many online class offerings are right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask! Our always helpful instructors are always happy to give advice to prospective students about which class is right for you!

Save the Date to Celebrate with Nicole’s Classes!

**UPDATED — The Back to School Party has been postponed! Stay tuned for more details soon!**

Back to School Party

Calling all Nicole’s Classes students and fans in Utah County — save the date for our Back to School Party on Wednesday, September 4th from 6-9pm!

We’ll be sharing more details on the blog in the coming weeks, but if you live in or around the Provo area, we’ll be having a little celebration for the whole family featuring:

* Treats — nosh on special Nicole’s Classes themed goodies and local favorites as well!
* Prizes — we’ll be giving away free online classes and textbooks!
* Major discounts — all classes purchased on site will be 50% off and books will be $15!

And rest assured, we’ll be doing something special for our students and fans who don’t live in Utah County as well!

So mark your calendars and stay tuned to the blog for more details!

Sewing 101: Prepping for Baby

With Nicole’s exciting baby news this month, I thought I’d scour the web for sewing patterns that will help you prep for the arrival of a little one. These 10 (mostly) free patterns are great for gifts and not too challenging, so give them a go for a handmade modern heirloom!

If you’d like to sew your own baby items but don’t know the basics yet, let me teach you how in my Sewing 101 class! I have a session in progress now that you can still join, or you can learn in the fall.

Now on with the patterns:

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

This free pattern for Baby Bloomers from See Kate Sew is so cute in a variety of prints for boys and girls.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

Martha Stewart’s popular Felt Baby Shoes never disappoint at showers (also a free pattern).

Baby Sewing Patterns

Not a freebie, but this Bunny in a Blanket pattern from mmmcrafts on Etsy is a go-to for shower and Easter gifts.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

These sweet Handkerchief Nursery Pillows, also free from Martha, make me want to run out to an antique market, stat.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

New to sewing? Here’s a cute idea for a Burp Cloth embellishment from Joy a Baby that’s super-simple.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

If you want to take your sewing a step up from beginner, here is a fun (and free) Triangle Baby Quilt pattern that could easily be done in less than 9 months.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

Brett Bara designed a host of Baby Room Projects for Yolo Colorhouse and they’re all free! Here’s a link to one for Nursery Curtains.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

A Spoonful of Sugar designed this sweet Muslin Baby Wrap with matching washcloths — great for a summer baby like Luca!

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

Bibs are easy to whip up as gifts — try this free Reversible Bib pattern from JRox Designs to get more mileage out of each one you sew.

Free Baby Sewing Patterns

I had a student recently ask me about baby leggings. The stretch fabric can be a little tricky for beginners but this tutorial for Super Simple Baby Leggings is good at explaining the basics.

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