Craftsy

Decorating By smallnmighty Updated 29 May 2012 , 7:51am by SoFloGuy

smallnmighty Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 2:25pm
post #1 of 34

Is it just me? But if I'm going to spend 30.00 to 60.00 dollars I want a DVD that I can take home! I just feel its a little overpriced. Maube I'm just cheap

33 replies
shanter Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 6:49am
post #2 of 34

What are you talking about?

ApplegumPam Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 7:19am
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallnmighty

Is it just me? But if I'm going to spend 30.00 to 60.00 dollars I want a DVD that I can take home! I just feel its a little overpriced. Maube I'm just cheap




I'm thinking you just haven't read it properly - it is SOOooooo much better than a DVD

With a DVD you just pop it in watch it and stop/start/watch again etc

With Craftsy - it is like having your own personal tutor

Take Jacqueline Butlers "Handcrafted Sugar Flowers" as an example - I think when it was first offered it was half price if you booked from her blog.... so around $29US (lucky for us Australians we are around parity)
The video is broken down into different sections (similar to a DVD) so you can just select what you want to rewatch. For example - you can WATCH her make her petal paste (not just read the recipe) this is important for some people that might skip steps or not fully understand the terminology contained in written instructions.
There is also a section where you can ask questions and receive a personal answer from Jacqueline - a DVD doesn't offer that.
There are places where you can type your own notes - underneath where the video is playing - so you can type things you want to remember.

It isn't a "watch it once" deal - you can log in and watch as many times as you want

For those that didn't know what Crafty is.....

http://www.craftsy.com/classes/food-craft

The new Topsy Turvy course is only $29 at the moment

FlourPots Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 8:57am
post #4 of 34

I recently joined, literally 3 days ago, and in my introduction email there was an offer to sign up for any class for $25.00...
I jumped at Jacqueline Butler's, of course.

Was it worth it...Absolutely!!! She's extremely thorough. I learned a lot and I really, really hope she's planning to do more.

I don't mind the format...it's actually kind of cool, and as ApplegumPam said, the opportunity to ask the instructor questions is wonderful.
I see that others have already, and received very helpful answers from Jacqueline, not just a line or two.
Also, I like that you can print out the recipes, resource list, etc.

So yeah, I'm sold...in my opinion that flower course was worth full price.

soozicake Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 9:38am
post #5 of 34

Thanks for posting and replies. I have seen this and wondered if was good value. I'm sold.

vgcea Posted 19 May 2012 , 9:15am
post #6 of 34

I've noticed the ad popping up. The modern piping class and the sugar flowers class look like they would be fun. My issue with video classes is sometimes the camera does not pick up details I'm trying to see e.g. using white on white so it's hard to see what the instructor is showing OR poor angles where the instructor's hand is in the way. For those who have taken these classes, how would you rate them?

smallnmighty Posted 19 May 2012 , 12:52pm
post #7 of 34

I would still rather have a DVD. Internet businesses die all the time so the lifetime viewing, I'm just cautious about. Lifetime guarantees are only good as long as the company is alive. I wonder if there is a way to pay for the class and burn it to a DVD with your own computer.

FlourPots Posted 19 May 2012 , 6:14pm
post #8 of 34

I have to admit now that I've paid for another class (Modern Piping) and will surely pay for more in the future (I'm even considering the cheesemaking course, even though I have no desire to ever make my own cheese!) I've started to think about that "lifetime guarantee"...I would be very upset if this company folds after I've spent what could turn out to be a hefty sum...
For now though, if this is the only way possible to view and learn what they're offering, I'd rather take the risk, than not.

The camera work is great in my opinion, everything that needs to be seen up close, is.
Of course there's an occasional hand shot, but that happens in DVD's also...

I would rate Jacqueline's class a 10+...I've never made my own flowers before, and I don't own any flower-making DVD's...I've only seen tutorials on youtube and different blogs, so for me, because she's so thorough, I truly learned a lot from her.

I would rate Joshua's class a 9...I also learned a lot from him. His 3 example cakes (I'm pretty sure they're dummies) look really cool at the end. As he was going along, I thought one of them looked a little busy, but when he was done, it totally worked, and the entire dessert table was gorgeous.
There was some technical difficulty that several members experienced when trying to watch sections of his class the other night. It kept jumping ahead to the next lesson with no warning. It was a pain-in-the-ass to have to go back and find my place...
I could've just left and waited till it was fixed, but I really got pulled into what he was doing and I wanted to see it all right then.

FlourPots Posted 19 May 2012 , 6:34pm
post #9 of 34

Forgot to mention...

There's a FREE truffle class called, "Dipped, Dusted, & Rolled: Handmade Chocolates".
It's interesting and informative.
The instructor is seriously hoarse from yelling too loud at a football game, but I still enjoyed it!

I'm not sure if you only have access after paying for another course first, or if everyone can see it.

vgcea Posted 20 May 2012 , 12:30am
post #10 of 34

Thanks for the responses y'all.

metria Posted 20 May 2012 , 2:21pm
post #11 of 34

question: are the actual class videos in HD quality? I watched some of the previews and clips for Modern Piping and the Sugar Flowers and they are not. I was hoping (probably in vain) that the paid version would be better quality.

HappyCake10609 Posted 20 May 2012 , 2:40pm
post #12 of 34

I have taken Jacqueline Butler's sugar flower class and Richard Ruskell's Topsy Turvy class... I loved both!

I live in an area that the Master's infrequently come near enough for me to take a class with them, so i love the Craftsy platform. I signed up for both of those classes when they were half price, so about $30 each... definitely well worth it... right now all of the cake decorating related craftsy classes are 1/2 off so I'll be signing up for the Modern Piping class this week as welll...

I highly, highly recommend them if you are interested in learning any of these skill... the camera work is excellent, never felt like I was missing any details, it's broken up into sections so it's easy to follow, you can take notes and ask questions and post pictures of you work!

I've never purchased any dvd's but I imagine this is better!

So, I guess, in sort, it gets my stamp of approval!

As far as HD viewing... there is a menu at the bottom where you can pick from "HD Auto" or a bunch of different "bit rates".... it's all foreign to me and I'm not a huge stickler for video quality, but I didn't have any complaints- I left it on "HD Auto"

metria Posted 20 May 2012 , 3:14pm
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCake10609

As far as HD viewing... there is a menu at the bottom where you can pick from "HD Auto" or a bunch of different "bit rates".... it's all foreign to me and I'm not a huge stickler for video quality, but I didn't have any complaints- I left it on "HD Auto"




awesome! thanks so much.

bakencake Posted 20 May 2012 , 3:47pm
post #14 of 34

someone here asked it we could copy it. i would also like to know. I'm one of those people who have a kindle. If I like the book I will go to the store and buy it. I think it's a sign of my age. anyhow, I like to own things and was wondering if I pay for it is there a way to copy it to a DVD?

HappyCake10609 Posted 20 May 2012 , 6:32pm
post #15 of 34

As far as I know, there is no way to copy or download the videos from Craftsy... but once your buy it, as long as you have computer access you can watch the videos at any time...

You can go to craftsy.com and watch samples from each of the lessons you are interested in, they don't give much away as far as instruction, but you can kind of "try before you buy"....

FlourPots Posted 20 May 2012 , 6:57pm
post #16 of 34

Regarding the HD quality...
As HappyCake10609 said, it's all foreign to me also, and I made the mistake of messing around with those numbers at the bottom, then couldn't remember what it was originally set to, so I emailed them to ask...

Here's the response:
" I apologize for the confusion. The HD button on the video is meant for users with poor internet connection to be able to adjust to a different form of video so they can experience the video with less difficulty. The preset for the videos is between 400 and 700k. Anything in this range should not create difficulties for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions or feedback".

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I can tell you that the video is not as sharp as on a DVD, especially sections of "Modern Piping".
I've watched from a desktop and a very new laptop and it was the same.
I prefer not to enlarge the video to the size of the screen, and I think that helps.
It's never blurry or anything, but it's not perfect either.
The close up shots are sharper and better than some of the wider ones where the instructor is speaking directly to the camera.


I've already emailed them to ask about copying the lessons to a DVD after purchase. As soon as they reply, I'll let you guys know.

nanefy Posted 20 May 2012 , 10:54pm
post #17 of 34

The videos are definitely in HD and I can watch it full screen or small screen with incredible quality. However it is all very much dependant on your broadband speed - if you have HD set to auto, it auto selects the best resolution depending on how fast your broadband is, so if your download speed isn't fast enough, you will get a lesser quality video. You have to remember it's streaming video.

I have bought three classes so far:

Jacqueline Butler - Best of all 3, totally magnificent and would recommend it in a heartbeat
The piping one - Very good also, would also recommend
Topsy Turvey - Sorry to say, I asked for a refund, it was BAD! However that's just my opinion

I love the craftsy platform and as soon as Jacqueline Butler creates more classes I will be snapping them up left right and centre! lol.

FlourPots Posted 21 May 2012 , 2:12am
post #18 of 34

Would you mind sharing what you didn't like about the Topsy course?
Personally, I don't really love that style of cake, specifically the ones with the spacer tiers like he's teaching, it looks like falling over cake to me, but I do find most every cake video/tutorial interesting whether I want to replicate it or not, so I'm sure I would've caved and bought the course eventually.

Also, Is there a way to improve your broadband speed? Does it mean just needing a better computer?
Forgive my ignorance, I honestly have no idea about any of that.

FromScratchSF Posted 21 May 2012 , 3:08am
post #19 of 34

My 3 cents...

I've had the honor of taking a Jacqueline Butler class in person. Perspective people... it was $700. It was fantastic. She is fantastic. I love her as an instructor, an artist and as a person. Worth every penny, and I am honored to have been mentored by her and it's rad that I know her now. But I have also seen her Craftsy class and I can tell you for reals -- for $29 bucks it's totally, completely 100% worth it - in fact it's worth more.

The production values of Craftsy videos are pretty darn good. They are HD. There is great editing. If your computer is not HD or you have a slow internet connection, that's your problem, not theirs. I have a good laptop with a fiber connection and I can count the hairs on her fingers. icon_biggrin.gif

Anyway you get PDF downloads of materials, notes, and a list of suppliers - and if you have been trying to learn how to do some of the stuff she teaches, just figuring out where to get supplies is 1/2 your challenge.

Anyway, my point is, DVD is a dying appliance. You don't need it. You have a computer icon_biggrin.gif

nanefy Posted 21 May 2012 , 11:32am
post #20 of 34

Yes I agree with FromScratchSF - the flower class is phenomenal. Jacqueline Butler is amazing - she is a great teacher but also from having had a lot of interaction with her since the course (on facebook and craftsy) she is so patient and helpful and just an all round great teacher. I would happily have paid $100 for the course to be honest.

OK the topsy turvy class - I feel really bad, because Richard is a great presenter, it's well filmed and he himself is pleasant to listen to, however that's about as good as it gets. The finish on the cakes was, and I hate to say it, dreadful! There just wasn't enough time spent on perfecting the technique and I will not follow a technique if I cant see that it's something that I would consider 'sound' - not that the cakes weren't stable, but the whole process of stacking the cakes was messy and just a big hap hazard in my opinion. The fondant on the cakes was a mess and that for me is the first sign that things are not going to get much better lol. There are cakes in the background of the filming that look great - but I can assure you the finished cake is nothing like those ones. I just knew that I'd never refer back to the video and I'd never watch any of it again - so I didn't see much point in keeping it. Craftsy were great though, I had no problems getting my money back - and I know that I am not the only one who has asked for a refund.
However, I think with this kind of thing, it's all relative - although I didn't like it, others might love it, it just wasn't for me.

OK onto broadband - it could potentially be partially down to your computer, but mostly it's about broadband speed. I can't vouch for anywhere but the UK, but I have 50MB cable broadband (fibre) and it's constant - if you have ASDL, which is phone line based, you will have a variable speed and it all depends on traffic, so the more users in your area using the line, the slower your broadband will be. I am super anal about broadband and one of my deal breakers when moving house was that if it couldn't get cable broadband, I wouldn't buy it....end of! lol.

sweetideas Posted 21 May 2012 , 12:11pm
post #21 of 34

I never heard of it before this thread. But I am willing to try it. However, I really am someone who wants to watch it on my tv because I watch while doing....when I do it on my computer it times out and goes black and I don't like having my computer in my kitchen for some reason. It would be ideal to have the ability to burn a DVD or buy it if you purchase certain classes, I would think. Thanks for letting me know about it, I will have to try it out! icon_smile.gif

nanefy Posted 21 May 2012 , 12:27pm
post #22 of 34

@sweetideas - you can change the settings on your laptop so that the screensaver doesn't kick in and also to stop it from going into sleep mode - you will need to watch though because there are different settings for running on battery and running on AC.

FlourPots Posted 21 May 2012 , 1:05pm
post #23 of 34

Thanks for the review of Richard's course, nanefy...very helpful.
...and you've really got me interested in learning more about broadband and how it all works.
I never gave it any thought before now.

HappyCake10609 Posted 21 May 2012 , 1:28pm
post #24 of 34

I also agree with FromScratchSF, the cost is nothing compared to the cost of taking any of these classes in person... Jacqueline Butler is an amazing artist and it was the first class I took on Craftsy... I couldn't believe I was getting her instruction for only $30 (I got it at half price...) and if I ever got the chance to take an in person class with her I would definitely pay the $700. But even with the in-person classes you don't get to take a DVD home.... You can also watch Craftsy classes on a mobile device, so if you have an tablet, you can probably use that in the kitchen.

I also took the Topsy Turvy class and my opinion of it was a little different than nanefy.... I actually enjoyed it. It's true, I didn't care much for the final design of the constructed cake and the fondant work wasn't great. But now I know how to make a secure Topsy Cake that looks like it's falling over. In my limited experience a demo cake, rarely looks as good as the person could make if their main focus was the cake and not the instruction... Richard Ruskell was a really great presenter... I also feel like he was aiming his class at more novice cake decorators, or at least explains things in a way that novice cake decorators could also make this cake...

I guess overall Jacqueline's class was a better value for the money- I make sugar flowers (or at least my feeble attempts, lol) all the time, whereas a Topsy Turvy cake would me more of a once in a while thing... But I still found it worth the $30, for the cake planning and construction part alone...

Just wanted to give my review of the Topsy Class for anyone considering it... Not crazy about the final 'design' of the cake, but I can apply the mechanics to a cake of my own design... the fondant work was not great, but I know I can do a better job... but now I know how to make that leaning cake icon_smile.gif

nanefy Posted 21 May 2012 , 2:39pm
post #25 of 34

It wasn't just the finish of the cake that was a problem for me (although I still think that's important) - I genuinely would not use his technique for stacking a topsy turvy cake - even the construction was a bit too hap hazard for me - granted the cake probably wouldn't fall over or crumble under the weight, but it just wasn't what I would class as perfect. I know a lot of people use cardboard circles under their cakes, but I honestly am super anal about 'build quality' and cardboard and foam core just doesn't cut it for me. I was really hoping for some real structural guidelines, perhaps using things that were a bit sturdier.
Granted I am probably being more anal about it than most (I don't know what my fascination is with anal!! lol) - but it just wasn't what I was expecting and I was disappointed with it. I like to KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that my cake is sturdier than a sturdy thing and I just don't think I'd have that confidence using the method that was taught. Sorry I should have made that more clear - the fondant work was an issue for me, but mainly it was the construction part that I was not happy with.

HappyCake10609 Posted 21 May 2012 , 3:40pm
post #26 of 34

Okay, I can see where you might have an issue with his construction materials... I'm an SPS girl, so anything that doesn't use that system makes me nervous...

But I wanted to make a fun cake like that for my daughter's 8th grade graduation party at the end of June, so I guess once I try it for myself I'll have a better idea of how good his method is. I'm fairly new to cake decorating (roughly 2 years) this type of cake would be a first for me icon_smile.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 21 May 2012 , 4:36pm
post #27 of 34

If you have a basic understanding of structure, weight distribution, and how to use a level, you can make just about any cake and you don't need SPS. I think that's probably the main goal in watching the topsy turvey class - he's teaching you extreme structure, not fondant work. You can learn fondant for free on You Tube! Anyway I have a whole box of SPS that I ordered 2 years ago that is collecting dust. I have built 5 tier cakes using straws and cardboard rounds. Never had a cake fall or buckle on me. I haven't bought that class but I was thinking about it just so I can see another way of doing structure. You never know when you may need it!

Everyone has their own way of doing things, but using foam core is essential in making extreme cakes. I made Higgins (crazy looking butler on my webpage) using foam core in a Kaysie Lackey class, and there is no way that cake could have been made with any other material. He is solid and stable. He's sitting on my kitchen counter right now (looking at me with those creepy eyes) and he's just as stable today as when I made him a month ago (and he's all cake and modeling chocolate).

nanefy Posted 21 May 2012 , 4:58pm
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

If you have a basic understanding of structure, weight distribution, and how to use a level, you can make just about any cake and you don't need SPS. I think that's probably the main goal in watching the topsy turvey class - he's teaching you extreme structure, not fondant work. You can learn fondant for free on You Tube! Anyway I have a whole box of SPS that I ordered 2 years ago that is collecting dust. I have built 5 tier cakes using straws and cardboard rounds. Never had a cake fall or buckle on me. I haven't bought that class but I was thinking about it just so I can see another way of doing structure. You never know when you may need it!

Everyone has their own way of doing things, but using foam core is essential in making extreme cakes. I made Higgins (crazy looking butler on my webpage) using foam core in a Kaysie Lackey class, and there is no way that cake could have been made with any other material. He is solid and stable. He's sitting on my kitchen counter right now (looking at me with those creepy eyes) and he's just as stable today as when I made him a month ago (and he's all cake and modeling chocolate).




I do have a basic understanding of structure and I don't use the SPS system - I use cake boards that are made from Acrylic Plexiglass that I cut myself using a router and use wooden dowels and bubble tea straws and a masonite base board to support my cakes. My cakes are SOLID from the minute they are stacked - not only are they solid, but because I use a circle cutting jig to cut my cake boards, they are cut to the precise size I need them AND they are perfect circles. I use a spirit level to make sure my cakes are 100% level too. I don't need a class on Fondant work, however I think if you are going to be teaching others cake techniques, your own work should reflect the fact that you are indeed excellent at what you do. As far as I am concerned the class was far from perfect and bad fondant was just the start of the issues for me - in fact not just me, but I know someone else who also requested a refund.

I don't believe it's accurate to say that extreme cakes MUST incorporate foam core - you can cut any shape you like out of a lot of materials, so whatever shape you cut from foam core, I can guarantee that I could cut it out of masonite or plexiglass. You can also angle your drilled holes in cake boards so that when you position it over the dowel you can have your cake tilted. I have watched programs where they have made extreme cakes and they have not used foam core.

I wasn't having a dig at those who use foam core or cardboard circles - all I said was that it wasn't sufficient for ME.

metria Posted 21 May 2012 , 5:23pm
post #29 of 34

gonna interrupt with something about Craftsy that I found interesting ...

http://www.craftsy.com/patterns/

It looks like if you make a PDF tutorial of something, you can sell it on their site and they won't charge you. Members of the site can purchase the "pattern" through Craftsy but the proceeds go directly to you via PayPal. I thought it would be a great way for decorators to sell their sugar art tutorials. I just purchased my first "pattern" for knitting and am very pleased with the quality of it that the author submitted.

FromScratchSF Posted 21 May 2012 , 5:36pm
post #30 of 34

Ah, well as I said I haven't bought the class, so I don't know what structure he uses and how bad his final cake is. I guess I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt? I also know better them to make sweeping generalizations, I though I re-wrote my paragraph to make it specific to my experience making the cakes I've personally made, but I see that I failed on that.

Nanefly, I bow to your access to power tools! Holy moly that's a lot of firepower. I don't have any of that. I really do want to agree with you, but I know there is no way I could have done Higgins using plexiglass. Even re-running the construction thru my head I don't see how I could have made it work using the armature we used. That particular design is so impressive because although he stands 2 feet tall, the support in his legs are 1/8" thick, after adding the chocolate they are 1/4". The weight of his body is all supported on foam core that was carved with the cake making him look seamless and gravity defying, especially since he's holding the mini cake away from his body.

Totally off topic icon_biggrin.gif

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