I recently attended a craft show and took my husband with me. He’s the kind of husband who comes along shopping and is more than happy to hold bags, will weigh in on colour choices during paper selection, doesn’t mind that we haven’t seen the kitchen table since we moved in together (3 years ago) and can identify an Inky Quill video from the opening bars of the theme song… ok I’m gushing like the newlywed I am, but my point is he is very pro craft.
So when I asked him to do the scrapbooking class with me he didn’t hesitate. He selected two pictures to print on my selphy at home. He paid his $10 and took a seat.
The class was for Azza, which was billed as “a European style of scrapbooking”.
We sat down interested in trying something new, and that’s about the point the wheels came off.
Upon producing our photos we were told they were wrong. They were immediately dismissed and replaced with stock photos. Being selphy prints I understand they are not true 6×4 prints but when you see the final layout you can see, I believe, that it would have been possible to work with them. Or at the very least, even if they wouldn’t have ‘worked’ in the sense of making the planned design look its best, the instructor could have explained the issue and given us the choice. It could have been an opportunity to learn about how this form of scrapbooking works.
Next, my husband was told to use the grid template to cut his photo into three.
As I understand it, that is the style of Azza. You use plastic templates to cut shapes out of photos and cardstock and then use the same template to stick everything down.
When he was finished, and turned to the instructor for the next step, he was immediately met with the exclamation that he had done it ‘wrong’. That he had ‘cut the legs off the bird and that was just wrong.’ It can’t be like that and so it went on.
If you compare my finished layout (the flower) to his (the bird) in the picture below you will see that he hadn’t cut them off and discarded them. The feet would just have been in the lower third, just as the cut bud in my photo appears in the lower third. My husband had taken time lining up the template and was careful in his cutting. He hadn’t just slashed through the pictures willynilly.
But no, it wasn’t acceptable. He was given a new picture, told to do it again and this time to not cut the legs off.
Now the irony is that it was their picture, positioned in the hole they directed us to use, and so to follow the template precisely there was no way to make it work without cutting through the legs!
The rest of the lesson continued in a similar vein. On my layout the sticking down of the green strips wasn’t considered straight enough so it was lifted and she re did it. A fact that annoyed me because to my eye it was straight. And you will notice my husband’s layout is missing the ‘feature’ stencilled card. That’s because he mucked up the stencilling too….
And that brings me to the point of this post. In the moment, how do you as the student/maker gently but firmly rebuff such statements? My husband and I didn’t. We silently agreed with a look to take the path of least resistance and so we sat there like naughty school children, did as we were told and left after having a not very enjoyable hour. (Yes it took a full hour to make those layouts!!!)
But upon reflection, I wonder whether that was that really the best option. It meant we were unhappy, the lady and her store got no sales from us and now the next person will likely have a similar experience.
The woman teaching us was obviously a lovely lady who loves her craft. But she was also one who couldn’t see past her own version of perfection to enable someone else to learn the craft. And she was the one that was wrong. I strongly believe there is no wrong when it comes to arts and crafts. Only preferences.
It’s a shame, because at this point I am turned right off Azza, even though I tried it because I already do a combination of traditional scrapbooking and project life and thought this might be a nice bridge between the two.
At least we only lost $20 and an hour!
If you scrap by Azza Id love to hear about your experiences. Leave me a comment below or tag me on social media.