“I won!!! I won!!” read my Facebook post last August. As a devoted reader and follower of Meg Cox and her Quilt Journalist Tells All newsletter and blog, I entered her contest with the fabulous prize of a 6 month FREE subscription to an instructional craft site… Creativebug, and…. I WON!!! Without further rambling… here’s my review and thoughts on my Adventure with Creativebug.
I never win any thing, so imagine my surprise when I got the email from Meg Cox with the good news! For you folks who are as crazy about quilting as I am, go check her out. She reports all the happenings in the quilt world, not to mention in addition she’s the author of two great books, The Quilter’s Catalog AND Family Traditions. You need to have both of them on your bookshelves.
Any way… I won the honor of running around the Creativebug website for 6 whole months… for FREE!!! Be still my beating heart. This site is a crafter’s dream come true. Taking classes at your own convenience, in your jammies, with all of your own supplies at your finger tips. I also like that you can sit and view the class, then think about your project, gather your supplies, then watch the class again and actually make the item this time.
We had a harsh winter here in the Northeast, and I was delighted to be snowed in to spend as much time as I wanted to try my hand at a new craft, brush up on one I was rusty in, or just view one I wanted to learn ‘how they do that’.
I was bowled over with the quality of their videos and the knowledge of the instructors. Some I had never heard of, but trust me when I tell you Creativebug sought out instructors that are tops in their field. Come on! Kaffe Fassett teaching me quilting in my own home???? SWOON!!! Beyond my wildest dreams!!!
While stalking the site I was amazed at the wide selection of techniques offered. No craft is off-limits, and there is something for every one at every level. As a beginner jewelry maker, I viewed the class on making wire links. I dabble in journaling, so my pens and markers got a good work out following one of Creativebug’s journaling Work-A-Longs. My mother was a sewing instructor so I learned that skill as soon as I could reach the throat plate and the foot pedal at the same time, yet I watched the classes any way… and still learned a new tip or two.
My favorite classes on the site were the ‘Work-A-Long’ classes. They are more intensive classes taught over a four-week or so period. Not only did I learn more from this style of teaching, but it creates a ‘habit’ and makes me continue with this craft once the class is finished… oh, and it gave me something exciting to look forward to, AND (I am sure this is what the marketing gurus at Creativebug were hoping for) this style of class had me click on their site more regularly.
I found the classes to always be fresh, well produced and top-notch. New classes are added on a regular basis, so I was never bored. There was always something that interested me.
Now that I’ve told you how much I LOVED the site, let me take a moment to tell you what I didn’t love. There were a few hiccups when viewing a course, like not buffering, or freezing right in the middle of something, or the PDF of materials not downloading. Although those issues were annoying, I found them to be few and far between… plus easily rectified.
My major complaint was when my FREE 6 months was finished, but my Top Down Raglan Sweater was not. That’s when it dawned on me I didn’t actually OWN the class and therefore could no longer access it… without becoming a paying member.
I contacted Customer Service via email to ask if that is how the process works… and instead of getting a direct answer to my question, I was instructed (in a very upbeat and friendly tone) to upgrade to the premium subscription where I would have access to ALL classes. I hadn’t decided to continue the subscription as yet, so to me it kind of felt like it was a hostage situation… “Pay up, or you will never be able to finish that sweater”.
I replied, “So I’m guessing the answer is no? You can’t re-visit a class you have already taken once your subscription is up?” It took Customer Service 11 days (almost two weeks!!!) to reply… and I quote…
“Unfortunately, in order to watch the premium classes you will need to pay for the premium subscription. So you are correct. You cannot revisit classes once your subscription has expired. I do apologize for the inconvenience.
However, you do not need an account to access the free content we have available. If you wish to become a Premium subscriber, you will be granted unlimited access to our over 200+ workshops, for a small monthly fee.”
Now all of this might not seem so bothersome. After all, I have plenty of projects that aren’t finished, and I can find another way to use the left over yarn… HOWEVER… I was a bit taken aback when I went on to the Creativebug site this morning to gather information for this blog post to find THIS…
“We are very excited to announce that Keep Classes Forever has gone live on Creativebug.com!”
Arrrggghhh! And guess when this was posted??? One day BEFORE Customer Service replied to me. Not that this new feature would be able to help me with my situation, but if they really wanted me to continue my subscription, that information would have most likely turned my indecision into a resounding YES.
Oh… and one more little bit of info that would have been the icing on the cake would have been to inform me about the lower monthly fee!!! Originally they were charging $9.95 a month… which has now dropped to $4.95. Don’t ya think THAT should have been mentioned in my email??? Instead I found out about it on my own. If I weren’t posting this blog today, I never would have visited their site again… never would have known… and most likely would never subscribe. Now I have food for thought.
Here’s the BOTTOM LINE…
Did I learn a lot? Yes. Great videos with talented instructors.
Would I recommend Creativebug to others? Yes. I am so thrilled with their classes that I am joining their Affiliate Program. Please check back in a few days to use my link to join them.
Do I think it’s a good deal? Yes, now that the price has dropped. Plus there are a lot of FREE classes you can take without subscribing.
Am I going to subscribe? Hmmmmmm…. Still undecided… but most likely yes. They just added a calligraphy Work-A-Long that looks enticing… PLUS I’ll be able to finish that damn sweater.
TIP: I would suggest you schedule a specific day and time for viewing and mark it on your calendar. You would be amazed at how quickly a week (or two) can zoom by without allowing time for crafting. At the new low price of $4.95 a month, if you schedule a class once a week, the cost per class works out to $1.24 each. You get a WHOLE LOT of quality instruction for less than a cup of coffee!!!
To start your Adventure with Creativebug please click on their logo on the right sidebar. They also offer a 2 week FREE Trial!!!! Click on the words 2 Weeks FREE in the side bar.
Have fun!!! And remember to ALWAYS create something special!