Kelly Purkey / Amy Tan Workshop

When my parents asked what I wanted for my birthday, I knew exactly what to say.  I was dying to sign up for the Kelly Purkey / Amy Tan workshop at Our Paper Place, but it cost more than I could justify spending while my husband is unemployed.  The money my parents gave me paid the registration fee with some left over to go toward my 40 Things.  What a wonderful gift!

The big day finally arrived last weekend.  My friend Amanda met me there.  We haven't seen each other in person since we traveled together to CHA in January 2011.  It was great to catch up and so fun to craft together.  From left: me, Kelly Purkey, Amy Tan, and Amanda.

Our day consisted of 4 classes.  First, Amy taught two layouts.  Here are her samples:

 Fun, colorful, bright and busy.  In other words, not my style AT ALL.  But that wasn't the point.  Half the fun of a class is trying things that are outside my comfort zone, using techniques I never use, and playing with supplies that aren't normally in my repertoire.  Amy was an excellent teacher and I loved hearing her ideas and learning about her process.

I didn't bring photos with me to the class, so I didn't add titles or journaling either.  Here's how my layouts looked when her class ended:

I'll probably add photos and finish the layouts eventually, but it's also possible I won't.  As I said, for me, the experience wasn't about the finished projects.

For our next class, Kelly taught two layouts.  Here are her samples:

Kelly has a cleaner, simpler style than Amy does.  But she uses a lot of misting, stamping, and embossing techniques that make her style quite different from mine.  Which is great, because it meant that there was plenty for me to learn and try.  

I've only taken a handful of classes over the years, but what I've learned about myself is that I'm not capable of simply following along.  I use the techniques the instructor is showing, but I put my own twist on them.  With Amy's first class, I actually did follow along fairly well, but by the time we got to Kelly's first class, my own creativity was bursting out.  For example, Kelly demonstrated applying a small amount of mist to a piece of Hambly patterned paper, then rubbing it off.  The chevron pattern acted as a resist and the colors blended to stain the background.  I tried the technique, which was fun, but then I flipped the paper over to the B-side and did my own thing.  So much more me!

I loved the look of misting through a piece of Studio Calico die cut paper.  I loved it so much that when Amy later asked us to cut up that paper to use for another project, I chose not to.  I'd much rather keep the paper whole to use as a mask again in the future.

For the third class, Amy taught some techniques to alter her Daybook.  
 She demonstrated a technique of blowing watercolor paint.  I did my own thing (again).  I used the paints to alter the cover and most of the pages, added a bunch of stickers, and then the title of "Play."  I'll use this book to try out new (potentially messy) techniques.  
For the final class, Kelly taught us how to make a 5x5 mini using FabRips.  I'd never used them before - a new favorite!  Here is Kelly's book.  The rest of the class made one that looked like hers.

But not me.

I did my own thing on all of the interior pages too.  I had a blast.  I'll definitely be making more of these in the future.  They have great gift potential!

Here's the whole group of us.  Everyone was really friendly and nice.

What a fun and inspiring day!   


  1. How fun! I spy Sarah too!! I love that you took this class! I got to meet Amy tan a couple of years in a row in TN ....she is a sweety! I love what you made too! And yay for seeing Amanda too!

  2. Looks like fun and what a wonderful gift. It is fun to be in classes and watch all the individual creativity blossom. Take care.

  3. That is so great!!! I've been very intimidated to go to classes for all these reasons ... maybe I need to just get out of my shell! :)

  4. Sounds like a fun way to spend the day! Love the projects you created!

    P/s: I'm like you.... I don't like to "follow" the teacher's sample but really just want to learn new techniques and make them my own!

  5. It looks like you had an amazing time. I'm a big fan of going off and doing my own thing even during classes. Your projects look great!

  6. Yay! So glad you joined in on the fun... love that you put your own original twists on things, especially painting those flowers on the daybook!


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