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Getting to know your neighbor: Create Scrapbooking & Project Classes gets crafty

COME CRAFT WITH ME — Besty Priester, a master scrapbooker, is pictured in the Create classroom space. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — Betsy Priester has been scrapbooking for almost two decades and, this December, opened Create Scrapbooking & Project Classes, to share her craft with the world.

Priester said she had been teaching some scrapbooking and crafting classes in her home, in Franklinville, but said she needed more space. After her daughter, Liesl Nuereurther, purchased the building that now houses Lulu Belle’s, the Main Street gift shop the mother and daughter run together, in Springville, Priester began the process of renovating the building’s back room for a classroom space.

A former occupational therapist, the recently-retired Priester said that both the business and crafting side of Create comes naturally, to her.

“I ran a store for 30 years and have been scrapbooking for about 20. I have so much stuff for it; this isn’t even half of it,” she added, gesturing at the reams of paper, clear bins of cut-outs and decals, scissors, rulers, patterns and other scrapbooking supplies.

READY TO CRAFT — The Create classroom space is equipped with anything participants may need to create their crafts.
The crafting classroom is open for business, two days each week, on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1.

“I wanted to make the classes different times, so that people could fit them into their schedules,” Priester explained. The sessions can accommodate up to eight people, at a time, but Priester said she is also able to schedule parties for kids or groups. Some of the projects Priester has dreamed up have included an explosion box, a never-ending card, jewelry and a watch class, tentatively scheduled for January.

Although Create had hosted only two classes by press time, Priester said that the response from participants, so far, had been “phenomenal.

“We advertised these just by word of mouth, and both were full,” Priester said. “All but two of the participants have signed up for another class, and those people said they will definitely participate, again.”

The crafting teacher is a master scrapbooker who attends scrapbooking conferences, shows and conventions, to learn new skills, get new ideas and keep up-to-speed on industry developments.

A SMORGASBORD OF GREATNESS — Pictured is an exploding box participants made at a recent class, with the supplies needed to create it.
“I get an idea, build on it and sometimes spin it off into something new,” she said, about where she finds inspiration for her projects. “Sometimes, it just takes off and something builds for me, until it becomes something beautiful. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.”

One thing Priester said sets the Create classes apart from other arts or crafting classes is that each student goes home with not only a completed project, but instructions on how to recreate that craft, at home.

“I used to hate when I’d go to classes, get half done [with my creation], get home and say, ‘How did I do this, again?’ Every participant will go home, not only with their project, but knowing how to do it, so they will never have that problem.”

She added that she likes to structure the class, both in the way it progresses and in the number of participants, to allow for individual attention and a fun, approachable pace.

“We don’t rush through projects and I make sure everyone has time to finish and have a good time,” Priester said. “That’s what we’re here for: to have fun.”

A CUT ABOVE — Create has Cricut® and Sizzix® machines and cartridges to rent, with about 68 patterns to choose from.
For those who already scrapbook at home, Priester also has six Cricut® machines, two Sizzix® machines, 68 cartridges and patterns for rent, as well as paper to be used in the machines. The machines can be rented on Saturday and must be returned by the Tuesday of the following week, for use in the classes on Wednesday.

“If you rent the machines or cartridges, you have to buy the paper from us,” Priester noted. “A lot of people will have the machine, already, but they don’t want to buy the pattern, or we have one they don’t. This is great for those people, who just want to play around with [a new pattern] and return it to us.”

For the less artistically-inclined, Priester said she sells her creations, priced according to the materials and time it takes her to make them.

Priester said that her favorite part of the process is “creating something out of nothing. It’s so cool, to me,” she said. “You start with raw materials and end up with this beautiful product. It’s just so much fun, and I love sharing it with people and showing them how they can do it, too.”

HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM CREATE — These cards offer an alternative to traditional holiday cards.
Create Scrapbook & Project Classes is on Facebook and can also be reached by calling 592-9123. The classroom is located at Lulu Belle’s gift shop at 35A East Main St. in Springville.
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