Floral Arranging Student Work

Our Floral Arranging 101 students have been turning out such amazing work over the past few months, that we needed to devote an entire post to just that class this week!

First up we have 2 stunning arrangements from Jackie Jones, who enrolled in Chelsea’s class so she could do the flowers for her own wedding. We LOVE to help students learn a new skill for a specific purpose, especially for something as special as a wedding. And Jackie’s arrangements do look truly special, and were also a great wedding weekend activity. Jackie says, “All my girls gathered together the morning before and we assembly lined it with mimosas making the table arrangements and bouquets.” How fun and beautiful (photos by Jennifer Emerling)!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Next up we have Jill Fawcett who also enrolled in the class to do the bouquets and boutonnieres for her wedding. We adore the little pinnable guys as well as the wild handheld arrangements. Congrats to you Jill!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

And lastly, we leave you with a fanciful headwreath by Margo Latka. We wish she’d make one for us so we can wear it to every outdoor event this fall!

Floral Arranging Student Work

Want to save a bundle and have creative control by arranging your own flowers for your holiday party, wedding or photo shoots? Then let Chelsea teach you how — enroll in the last session of her Floral Arranging 101 class for 2013 which starts Monday, November 4th!

Did You Miss the Party? Here’s 30% Off!

First off, if you made it our Back to School Party on Friday night, we want to thank you for coming! It was a fun night filled with cookies, class giveaways and great conversation with our students! But if you weren’t there…

Back to School Promo

We have a consolation prize for you — 30% off all online class sessions in the store starting now through Friday, November 1st! Just enter the code NCPARTY30 at checkout to see the sale reflected in your cart.*

Thanks again to those who came out to celebrate with us last Friday — we appreciate your support!


*Not applicable on past purchases. Sale ends at 11:59pm PST on 11/1/13.

Our Back to School Party is TODAY!

Back to School Party

The day is finally here! Our Back to School Party is TODAY!

Come join us today, Friday, October 25th from 5:30-9:00pm at the Riverwoods Farmer’s Market in Provo, UT. We’ll be at a booth on the Southeast side, eating cookies and demoing classes! You won’t want to miss:

* Meeting our talented instructors, who can offer individualized advice on what classes might be right for you and your skill level!
* Nicole’s famous homemade cookies!
* Great giveaways including totally free classes!
* Super sale prices — all classes purchased at the event (which includes our 2014 classes!) will be 50% off and all textbooks (even Photo 101) will be only $15!

We absolutely love meeting our students in person, so we hope you can make time this evening to stop by and say hello! See you there!

Lightroom 101: Ghoulish Photos

Every year in New York, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine does a Halloween event. They show a scary silent movie, with live organ accompaniment and then when the movie ends they have a procession of the ghouls.

Lightroom works well with all kinds of images, both the light/bright kind as well as dark/grainy ones too. I wanted to take my DSLR to the event, but knew it was going to be very dark and that the light wouldn’t be ideal. So I set the ISO very high (2500) and took a lot of pictures even though it was dark and the light was not ideal.

I imported the photos into Lightroom and quickly narrowed them down to the few I wanted to edit with the easy to use “star” ratings and filters in Lightroom.

Ghoulish Photos

Once I had the images narrowed down I began playing around with some “presets” to see how they reacted to the color in the photo. I had an idea when I was shooting these photos that I wanted to make them black and white so I focused mainly on the black and white and toned presets. Here are some examples of a few different presets with the same image:

Original Image:

Ghoulish Photos

Preset Test 1:

Ghoulish Photos

Preset Test 2:

Ghoulish Photos

Preset Test 3:

Ghoulish Photos

Preset Test 4:

Ghoulish Photos

Preset 2 was my favorite. So I selected the images, synced the settings and with one click had changed all of the images from that night to have this similar look. I love how quick Lightroom makes this process! I then quickly went through each image and fine-tuned the exposure and I was finished.

A well-exposed image straight out of the camera is the best and Lightroom isn’t a “fix-all” for any image. However, sometimes we are in lighting situations that are less than ideal. Rather than not taking photos at all, I would suggest experimenting in these situations and pushing the limits of your camera, then giving the images a whirl in Lightroom — you may be surprised with what you get!

Want to learn how to edit those low light photos? Enroll in my November Lightroom 101 class and let me show you how! Leave a comment below with any questions about this post or the class!

Happy Halloween!

Ghoulish Photos

2014 Class Schedule Coming November 1st!


Happy Wednesday everyone! We have some exciting news — our 2014 Class Schedule will be announced very soon! So if you’ve been wondering when the next sessions of some of our popular classes will be held, you only have to wait until Friday, November 1st to find out and sign up.

And make sure to join our newsletter to be the first to know about this and other exciting Nicole’s Classes announcements!

And don’t forget about our Back to School Party this Friday at the Riverwoods in Provo, UT from 5:30-9pm — come celebrate with us and save some major money on our online classes and books!

Watercolor 101: Student Work and a Color Lesson

Here is some student work and a little lesson at the same time! Michonn Johnson is enrolled in my October Watercolor 101 class and sent over this class assignment along with the photos that inspired it. The assignment was to create a geometric pattern using the techniques we have learned in class so far. This gives students the opportunity to get comfortable with brush control and it also gives them to a chance to make some design choices. These quilts were Michonn’s inspiration:

Watercolor 101 Student Work

Quilt on the left for design; Quilt on the right for color

This is her final watercolor piece:

Watercolor 101 Student Work

What Michonn may or may not have realized, is that she was loosely using an analogous color palette.

Watercolor 101 Student Work

Analogous colors are groups of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Using analogous colors together creates harmony in a painting. I think her painting is really lovely and the colors work well together, don’t you agree?

This is just one of the fun assignments we do in Watercolor 101! Come join me next month!

Our Back to School Party is Back On!

Back to School Party

You heard that right Utah County — our postponed Back to School Party is BACK ON!

Come out and celebrate with us Friday, October 25th from 5:30 – 9:00pm at the Riverwoods Farmer’s Market! You can:

* Meet and mingle with some of our instructors, and get individualized advice on what classes might be right for you and your skill level!
* Snack on Nicole’s famous homemade cookies and other signature treats!
* Take advantage of great giveaways and super sale prices — all classes purchased at the event will be 50% off and all textbooks (even Photo 101) will be only $15!

And yes, we know not all of our fans and readers live in Utah County, so we do still have a special treat in store for everyone else next week… stay tuned for those details!

So bring your kids and tell your friends — we want to celebrate Back to School with you! We hope to see you on Friday!

Ahoy! Our Columbus Day Sale Ends Today!

Columbus Day Sale

That’s right Nicole’s Classes mateys, today is the last day of our Columbus Day Sale! You have until 11:59pm PST tonight to save 20% on your online class order with the code NCCOLUMBUS20. So c’mon and sneak in one more class with us on the cheap next month before the year ends!

And make sure to stay tuned in to the blog next week as we’ll have some exciting news on 2 fronts: our Back to School party will finally have a new date (!) and we’ll have a date for the release of our 2014 class schedule!

See you next week!

More Great Original Student Work

We have some really original and unique student work pieces for you today — from classes we don’t offer feature, so scroll on down and check it out!

We’re so excited to share the first student created gif with you from Kristie Black in our Photoshop 101 class. Gif’s can be a fun and animated way to show successive photos on your blog instead of making readers scroll. We can’t wait to share more gif’s with you!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Next we have a super cool map and accompanying legend from designer Naomi den Besten. Noami has taken quite a few of our classes, and she created this intricate graphic of Amsterdam in our Illustrator 101 class. We want one of these for every city!

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Nessa Buonomo, whose work we’ve featured here and here, created another stunning bouquet for the bridal assignment in Floral Arranging 101.

Nicole's Classes Student Work

Need to learn how to make gif’s, graphics or arrangements for your blog or business? Nicole’s Classes can teach you how in one of our classes this November!

Sewing 101: Halloween Costumes for Kids Roundup

My mom wasn’t an active sewer but she did make my Halloween costumes every year, including an ambitious clown getup in rainbow colors. I’ll never forget it and I guess that watching her make these things inspired me to learn how to sew as well.

These ten sewing (and no-sew) patterns from around the web are all pretty easy, which still gives you time to head to the fabric store before the 31st, or you can save these ideas for next year. Does making a Halloween costume scare you? Try out my Sewing 101 class to boost your skills — and pass on your new know-how to your kiddo, too!

*no sew, meaning it’s made from fabric glue

Halloween Sewing 101

Fleece Chicken Hat, Etsy

Halloween Sewing 101

Flower Bouquet*, Martha Stewart

Halloween Sewing 101

Bird, Probably Actually

Halloween Sewing 101

Bunny Hat & Mittens, Purl Bee

Halloween Sewing 101

Lamb*, Parents

Halloween Sewing 101

Pirate Jacket, Etsy

Halloween Sewing 101

Mushroom, BurdaStyle

Halloween Sewing 101

Cat*, Etsy

Halloween Sewing 101

Fantastic Mr. Fox, Skirt As Top Blog (love her whole Film Petit series)

Halloween Sewing 101

Lobster, Martha Stewart

Happy sewing (or not)!

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