My Field Companion - Handmade Notebooks to Keep, Gift or Sell | Nina Vangerow | Skillshare

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My Field Companion - Handmade Notebooks to Keep, Gift or Sell

teacher avatar Nina Vangerow, Artist, Book Lover, Stationery Addict

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Fieldcompanion Intro Final

      2:45
    • 2. Tools & Materials

      6:38
    • 3. Cutting the Pages

      7:18
    • 4. Cutting the Cover

      1:45
    • 5. Binding the Field Companion

      6:48
    • 6. Adding Labels & "Belly" Band

      8:19
    • 7. The Printout

      7:07
    • 8. The 5 Hole Binding

      4:16
    • 9. Printout Labels & "Belly" Band

      2:48
    • 10. Class Project

      2:33
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About This Class

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The idea for the "Field Companion" came about when I was thinking of new ways to connect with friends and family I can't see at the moment. Many of us work from home and don't get the opportunity to spend time with those people who are really important to us.

This made me think of creating a little notebook, which could fit into almost any pocket and like a little companion  could be with you at all times.These companions are patient listeners, ready for your thoughts, ideas, doodles and drawings and can help you through these tricky times.

A perfect little present to post to a friend or loved one.

If you love stationery and beautiful notebooks as much as I do then this class is for you. Based on the notion of the fieldnotes, scientists would carry around to jot down notes and observations, these cute notebooks - or field companions as I like to call them - will fit into (almost) any pocket.

In this class you are going to learn how to cut the cover and pages, bind the notebooks using the 3 hole binding method and to finish them off, I'm going to show you how to add a cute band which will hold a set of three notebooks together, turning them into a perfect handmade present. You might even consider selling your own range of little notebooks, by using your own pattern designs for the cover.

If you would like to take it further, you will also be able to learn how to add pockets to the front and back of the cover.

The class resources also contain a set of downloadable field companion notebook covers, labels and "belly" band.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nina Vangerow

Artist, Book Lover, Stationery Addict

Teacher

 

 

Hi,

my name is Nina, I'm an artist, educator and online content creator and live in a small town in rural Wales, UK.

Under the name of The Forgotten Bookshop Girl I'm working as a mixed media artist, rebind old books turning  them into notebooks, create vintage style Travelers Notebook inserts, work with various forms of image transfers and a whole range of different types of coffee stained papers. I love working with materials that would normally have ended up in the landfill or is just looking for a new lease of life. In addition, I love creating items, that look as if they had been around for a while and might just have been found in somebody's attic or a fleamarket. If you would like to visit my shop on Etsy, you can find it her... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Fieldcompanion Intro Final: The idea of the field companion came about when I was trying to think of ways to connect with friends and family that I can't see at the moment. The field companions are based on the notion of the feared nodes, which are little notebooks that scientists will use to jot down their observations and ideas. They're small enough to almost fit into any pocket. And I've really liked this idea of having a little notebook almost like a companion that you can have on you at all times and use it to either draw or write or doodle or just note down all your thoughts and ideas and kind of use them as a little companion that can be with you. And use them in a way that can help you to get through this tricky time that we're in at the moment. Hi, my name is Nina. I'm an artist and educator and an online content creator, and this is my 15th class here on Skillshare. In this class, I'm going to show you how to cut the cover and pages for your field companions. This would be a fantastic way of using designs that you have created. Maybe you've taken a class here on Skillshare and learned how to create patterns. So this would be a fantastic way of using those patterns. And then I'm also going to show you how to do the three hole and the five Hall bookbinding. We will be adding labels to our notebooks and also a cute little belly band which makes them ideal to ionize, send away, or meet, maybe even think about starting to sell your own little sets of notebooks. As part of the class resources also designed a whole set of downloadable fear companion covers. So you can just go ahead and download those to use in this class. And the class resources also contain a whole set of labels that you can use for this class. So if you like the idea of creating little sets or fear companions, either for yourself or to send them off to friends and family. You can't see at the moment. Or if you were thinking about maybe starting to sell your own intercepts of notebooks, then why not join us in this class? And I'll see you in the next video. 2. Tools & Materials: So before we get started, let's have a quick look at the tools and materials we're going to use in this class. First of all, I personally really like to use a cutting mat and a naive and metal ruler to do all my paper cutting. But please feel free to use a routine or a paper cutter or even a pair of scissors. Just use anything you feel comfortable with. We'll be needing a pencil, a glue stick, a bone folder. If you haven't got a bone folder, you can use, for example, the handler of your scissors or maybe the handle of a butter knife. Then to keep the pages together. When we are binding the notebook, I really like to use paperclips. Pegs work just as well to punch the holes I'll be using and all. But if you haven't got one, you can use something like a thumbtack to punch the holes into the pages. To bind the notebooks. I'm using embroidery floss and I choose the color to go with the cover of the notebooks, then just an ordinary downing needle will also be needing a pair of scissors. And these two are just an optional extra. This one can be used to create a round corner. So it's a round corner cutters around corners for your notebooks. And this is a circular punch and that's just a little extra that I'm going to show you where you are putting the band round the notebooks and how to attach the two n squared. This is just, you don't really need this. So next, let's have a quick look at the materials. Obviously, we're going to need something we can use for the cover of the field companions. And I'm just using scrapbook paper. If you've got any scrapbook paper at home, that's absolutely perfect. Or you might even be able to use some leftovers are off cuts because they will or they just might be big enough for you. If you haven't got any HRM. Oh, don't worry, you might have one of these amazing magazines at home, right? The flow magazine, Daphne's story. Simple things and there are so many out there that have just beautiful pattern papers is part of the makeup of the author magazine. And those have kind of like the same thickness as craft paper. So if you've got any of those new that would work just as well for your notebooks. You might want to just keep it really simple and have a Kind of like a slightly vintage feel to them, or make them look a bit more like the actual field notes. And then you can just go for Kraft paper. And that's also an option I really, really like. Then for the pages that go inside the notebooks, I'm just going to use ordinary printer paper. You could of course use line paper or graph paper, 0 dotted papers if any of those would work. But for this class, I'll just be using the very own every printer paper. Yes, something else you could do if you wanted to use the few companions as, let's say a sketchbook, you could think about adding special paper to it, or even maybe watercolor paper that you might not be able to put as many pages into because water color paper is thicker. And then of course, I've got the class resources. I've got the print house I've created for this class. First of all, I've created a set of labels you can use on, you'll feel companions. One that actually says my field companion, and then two versions of lamp labels you can use. And then I've also created a set of basically like ready-made notebook colors that can be printed out. As I personally really like. Everything that looks slightly vintage, it will reflect in my designs. I've created 31 with a label, my field notes, one that hasn't got a label at all. So you could just use it blank or use one of the tables now that you wish to use. And the third one has a label on it. So you would need some white or off-white card stock to print these out. The way I've created them in the resources is a, you get one design on one sheet of paper, even though two would have fit it on one sheet of paper or one sheet of card stock. This way, it will allow you to have extra space on either side of the card stock so that you can create the pockets if you would like to. And I'm going to show you how to do those pockets later on in the class. And also felt that this way you can kind of print out exactly the field notebook cover that you want. You might want have three of the same design, like three that say my field companion, you might want three that don't have a label at all and do your own navel or not harbor label. So I thought it gives you a little bit, kind of gives you more options to play with. 3. Cutting the Pages: We'll start by cutting the pages for our field companions. If we were to go with the size of the field notes. And obviously my field companions are inspired by the field notes. Then that's 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches or nine by 14 centimeters. The affiliate node has 48 pages, which words translate into 24 sheets of paper that get folded and create the 48 pages. You would be able to get to each printer page. So we would need 12 sheet of printer paper. How do I find that? 48 pages are quite a lot in there's a little notebooks if you make them yourself because you can't really folder and press them as a machine could. I find them a bit too bulky, so I'll just go for 40 pages, but you can definitely have as many pages as you feel happy with. You can also have less many pages in there. So the first thing I'm going to do is cut the pages. I find that 10 pages I can now using my cutting mat, I can definitely ten pages at the same time, but I don't want them to move around. So I'm using one of these just to hold them in place. And then I'm just going to measure. So I'm cutting with them in the way that I can get two pages out of one sheet of paper. So we'll need can't make the first cut at 14 centimeters or that would be the 5.5 inches. Whenever I caught more than one sheet of paper, they don't really press very hard with a knife. And just go very gently along here and cut them one by one. Now I have to take the next measurement, which is 18 centimeters. Because the width is nine centimeters or 3.5 inches. Sarah, I need that times two series that will cut. In this case because I'm using A4 size, have to cut off a tiny bit. At this end. And then again, a little bit of the side. Sorry, I got my 18 centimeters or five and oh, no, my 18th centimeters would be seven inches, right? To know that I've got all my pages heart. I can start folding them up and I can take a couple that you not more than three pages. And then make sure that the corners align. The edges line up and then just crease in the middle. This is where the bone folder comes in handy. I'll just quickly followed all of the pages. And once I've got them all cut and fold it, start stacking them into each other by just fold them open like butterfly wings and just stack them into each other. I'm sure that you always find the middle of the pages. And then you've got the more stacked, you'll probably find that the pages that are in the middle are sticking out. And that's due to the fact that while you're stacking up your pages, the spine is getting thicker. So the inner most pages are being pushed out by the bulk of all the pages. That's okay. And that's also one of the reasons why you wouldn't have, let say 50 to exaggerate a little bit of 50 pages in one signature. You call this one signature like one stack of pages. And yeah, that's one of the reasons why I didn't really want to go for more than the pages I've got here. So all we need to do here is make sure that they are stacked really nicely. All the pages line up. I'm going to use my handy little paper clip. And then I can just cut a slice of the end. I'm using the outermost page as, as kind of like as a template so that all the other pages line up with this one. And this is where you really want to take your time and not rush. Okay? And they are all aligned. Okay, So you will have to do that obviously three times for the three notebooks. But, uh, let's create a cover for this notebook first. 4. Cutting the Cover: So the easiest way to find the right size for your cover is just use one of the pages you've just cut as a template. But apart from that, you basically cut the measure and cut the cover exactly the same way as you have done your pages unless you were to add some pockets. But we'll go into this in a later video. So I'll just turn this around and make my marks on the inside or the backside of the scrapbook paper. The easiest is to make three marks because that means that you'll definitely get a nice straight line. So all I need to do is cut it. Okay, here we go. And then I can just fold it. I'm going to use the Burn folder to get a nice edge. I've got my cover and I'll need to do the same thing for the other two covers. And now we're ready to start binding the little notebooks. 5. Binding the Field Companion: So now I've got the cover and the pages already. You might find that once you put the pages into the cover, that you still have some of the pages sticking out. Bad, then you can just adjust that you might actually weighed with adjusting all the pages until you've got your cover ready, put them all in and then see if they fit. If not, then just use your color as the template and make Enter mark on where you need to cut a slice of all the pages, take the cover off, and then just adjust the length. And as I said, it's all to do with the amount of pages that get stuck into little notebook. But now we're ready to bind it. So I'm just making sure that all the pages are sitting where I want them to sit on that all the pages are sitting nicely in the spine. And then I can grab my two clips to make sure at the pages don't move around while I'm binding them. I know they seem quite massive for this little notebook, but they work just fine. I'm going to go for the three whole binding, which works really well for small notebooks. And the next thing, I'm going to get my yellow pages. And if you've got anything like the yellow pages, don't throw them out, keep hold of them because they are absolutely perfect for punching the holes. I'm using, the groove that you stick my spine. And then as I said, we're going to go for three holes. So I'm going to eyeball. And the first one in the middle. You can measure it. Just do it this way, and then go all the way through. And you can actually feel how it goes right into the Yellow Pages. And then I'll go by a centimeter from the edge of the book. Punch another hole. And I'll do the same thing. The, the end bad centimeter per read less than an inch. Go right through. And when I'm done, I can just double-check that it's PSE my fingers. You have gone all the way through? Yes. And you can just very carefully make sure well, that holes went right through to the outside of the cover. So as I said, I'm using embroidery floss and adorning needle. To determine the length of the thread you're using. Basically all we do is take roughly twice the length of your cover. And then I don't want the whole thickness of the floss. So I'm just going to I'm going to just go for three threads. My doing this, I've got my binding thread for the next notebook done as well. So I'm going to start on the inside, but the ends of the threads are going to be tied in a knot at the end. So if you want to have the type notes and the bits, if string not string, the bits of thread on the outside, you will start from the outside. If you want them on the inside, you'll start on the inside. In this case, I want them on the inside, so I'm starting in the middle hole, pulling it through. I'm holding on to kind of back enough of the thread so I can tie a knot. Then going either up or down doesn't really matter from the outside in into the notebook. Making sure that the embroidery floss is sitting nice and tight with that, pulling it through. And I go back out through the middle hole. And then I'm pulling my this time should be able to take these two off. Then from here, I'm going back down and pulling my thread. Severe, making sure that Oh, nice and tight. And then at the end, before tie the knot, I loop it. And this thread, I can take off the needle. And then I can just tie a double knot. If I want to, I can just cut it off. I quite like to leave a little bit of a string, just like bounce. And if you've done it on the outside would have this. But if you have threads on the outside, and with that, the first notebook has been bound, so I'll do that with the other two notebooks. And then we'll have a look at adding a label. 6. Adding Labels & "Belly" Band: So in this video, we're going to have a quick look on how to add the labels and also a little belly band and can go round the set of three feared companions. As you can see, I've already added the labels to the three little notebooks. So basically really all I've done is just a printed out the PDF file that is part of your class resources wife bought a whole range of different labels you can choose from. And then I just have glued them onto the notebooks. I've decided to go for the myfile companion on the three of them. Okay, now let's have a look at the little belly band. And this one you can see two different designs. These are the designs that I've created for the printout. I've just used cutlery thinner craft paper to print them out. Then these two designs, as you can tell, they came from two of the designs I've used for the notebook covers. Basically, all I've done is just scan them into my computer. Then I turned them into black and white and played with the contrast. And then I used Canva to create the strips so that I could print them out. So obviously, when you are thinking about adding a belly band, what you can do is you can use some of the scrapbook paper. Though I do feel that it might be a little bit too thick to act as a belly band, just but give it a go. Then you could maybe just copy a sheet or part of the belly band and use that. Just be aware of copyright issues if you're just doing it for yourself or just giving it away as a president, who knows, Okay, But obviously just, just be aware of how you're using designs that you haven't created. So which brings me to the next point. If you were using your own designs, that would be really fantastic to use them also as the belly band on there. So just for this class, obviously, I'm not going to sell them. Just to give you a few ideas of how you can play with the different patterns. I'm going to just quickly cut out these two. And then we're going to have a look which of them is going to make its way around these little notebooks. Right? Also to have a quick look at the width. It about not quite five centimeters wide, about 4.6 roughly, but again, it's completely up to you how wide you would like them. But I quite liked this size for the Notebooks. So let's have a quick look. So this is the idea for the band to go around. The three notebooks and hold them together. So that's the one with the foxes. And let's have a look. I like, I really like both of them, but I've got a thing for the foxes, so I'm going to use the one with the foxes, and I might use this one for a different set of notebooks. There we go. It's going to be a little bit too long. But that didn't matter because we can cut any axis off. Okay, so if I just folded drowned the three notebooks. There we go. I might just cut off a couple of centimeters. Okay. There you go. Then you've got already various options of closing it up. You could just use some blue, just some, for example, you just a glue stick and glue together. You might want to stick a book on it or maybe VO put something or turn it round and put something slightly heavy on it to make sure that the glue has a chance to dry without the two ends moving there. But there is also something else you can do. For example, just use some washy. Because that also means that you can take the notebooks, our take one notebook out, and then put them back together. Because I really like the way they look when they all held together. So you could do that. Or another option would be if you've got 100 the circle punches. And I've just got a strip of scrapbook paper. And I hope you can see this. I'm going to try and look for a fox. Could have this one so that it's still, you can see it in here. What I could do then is use this as a closure. So if I took just tick this off, I want to make sure that the kind of like the closure or the overlap is kind of in the middle. Then I could just use the little fox. Obviously glue it onto there and I find that looks just really cute and gives it kind of like an extra addition. And again, if it's your own design, is almost like you've created your own little sticker, even though it's not a sticker. But you can use that. And I really like this. If you wanted to glue, glue, It's shots, but still might want to be able to move the notebooks. I would suggest to make it a little bit more loose. Obviously, you want to keep them together, but maybe a little bit more loose around them, just play around with it. You might still be able to take one out and put it back in. If it's too tight, then that would be a problem. But to put it back in. So just for now, I'm going to put the washy back on because something else I would like to show you and that's the smaller labels on the printout. Because what you can do is just put one of the smaller labels onto, actually glued onto the band, can have like that. And then he could ride a friend's name on there and just have it Sarah's fields companion. You could use one of the others, of course, and just say a little thank you from all this is four so you can play around with adjusted just a little. Something else that you could use to kind of personalize their set of female companions. So in the next video, I'm going to show you how you can use the printout. And I'm also going to show you how you can add a little pocket and the front and the back of your notebook as well. 7. The Printout: In this video, I just wanted to quickly show you how to use the printouts that I've created for this class are incurious. You just want to go for this one over C. The first thing you'd have to do is actually printed. And as you will see, I've got different designs and you can just choose one or choose all three. It's completely up to you. The other thing I'm going to do is show you at the same time how to make pockets at the front and the back. So that was one of the reasons why I'm layout like this, even though two of these would fit onto one piece of card stock. And this is kind of the thickness of the card stock. It doesn't have to be super thick. Just enter something you would expect on a little notebook. I'm sorry. Yeah. First thing I'm going to cut it and what I'm going to do, I'm just going to cut along the top line all the way. So I'll just do that very quickly. But now I'm not going to cut this part or this part. I'm probably going to shorten it a little bit. Now. This is the part where I'm going to fold this space of the couch stuck over to create a pocket. What I'm doing here really is trying to make sure that I've got kind of the edge where the print stops. And then I'm just folding it like that. It's again, burn folder is quite helpful here. And then I'm going to do the same via the end. There you go. And then I can fold just the notebook cover as we have done before. And now I've got a cover with two pockets, even though I find these are a little bit too wide. So I'm going to just cut a tiny bit off here. No cellular or religious? Yeah, about this much. I'll do the same about and they don't have to have the same widths and you don't have to have pockets on either side. So it's completely up to you and you don't need to have pockets at all. So if you were to make pockets in your own cover, let's say if you had some scrapbook paper at home which you're using, so you're measuring the cover and then you just adding I didn't know. Is that 45 centimeters yet, but for this is 4.5 centimeters. I think this is a bit less. Yeah, This is about four centimeters extra on either side, so you can fold those over and use them as pockets. Sometimes I like to use a circle punch and I'm just going to eyeball this, have it in the middle right here. Because I find that makes it easier to pull things out that you've got in their pocket. But again, this is absolutely optional, so I'm going to have one and the front, but let's say I'm not going to have one in the back. Then before you glue them, you can just double-check if if it all lines up nicely and it does. And then I'm just using the blue stake again. And i'm I'm just adding some glue at the top edge. Like that. I'm pressing down really hard. I would probably put this again under some heavy books to make sure that the glue kinda adheres to both sides and it's nicely shut. Doing the same thing on this side. Okay. So I'll stick this under a heavy book. But from here, you really just carry on in the same way as, you know as with the other books. I've got one that I've finished already. Let's just put this to one side. I've chosen a different kind of a thread that I thought went nicely with this cover. And as you can see, I've done five whole stitch here. I'm going to make a separate video. It's very much like the three holes stitch. And I'm still just going to show you very quickly how to do the 50 stitch in case you're not quite sure how to do it, but I thought I'll do that that as an extra video so that those of you who would like to have a look at it can have a look, but the others don't have to kinda watch anything extra that they are not interested in. And then I just added the pages in this one. I would probably personally really like to have coffee stained or tea stained papers because it goes with the vintage vibe. But yeah, so I left it like that just for this class. And then I'll just quickly show you then what these look like on Stay. There are three of them have been bound and I'll do one of each and show you what they look like with a little band. And once they are finished. 8. The 5 Hole Binding: So let's have a very quick look at the five whole binding, which is in theory exactly the same as three whole binding. But instead of three holes, you've got five holes. So let me just first show you how you work out where to put all the holes for sewing. We'll do the same as we did with a three hole binding. We just find the middle. And as before, you can measure it by a hardly ever do that. I'm going to punch a hole there. Then you go again about a centimeter from the top and a centimeter from the bottom. Remains there. We've got the three holes now and we're going to add another two on. You just do the first one in between these two holes. So bad. And then again, you're going to do the same here and kind of find the middle. And this is Harry and with the five holes. Let's just move this. I've got my embroidery floss ready. The thread you're going to use for, for binding. This notebook might need to be a tiny little bit longer, but I find because I'm taking twice the length of the notebook anyway, that I do have enough embroidery floss in the end. Again, I'm starting from the middle. I want the ends of the thread to be on the inside. So I'll start on the inside. Otherwise you will start on the outside. So I go through here, hold onto the end of my thread, and then I can go either to the top or to the bottom. That doesn't matter. I go back in and I pulled tight and I go to the top. So it's all absolutely the same is just if you're doing it for the first time, it might seem a little bit confusing, though. It isn't really so. And then you go back down. And once you've done it a few times, you don't even have to think about it. And you go out through the middle hole. And by that time you can get rid of these. Then go back in. And I'll go out. And the bottom hole. If you're starting on the outside, obviously it will be kind of the other way round because the first thing you do is go inside the notebook and then out. Whereas here I am good. The first step I did was go out of the notebook and then back in. But the principle is absolutely the same. So going back in and now I'm in the middle. And as before, I loop it and this bit of the embroidery floss. And making sure that everything is nice and tight. And then I can make my double knot. And this notebook is finished. 9. Printout Labels & "Belly" Band: All that's left to do for these few companions is to get the band of already cut it out. Cut slice of. And again, for basic procedures, Choose any paper that you felt, uh, work with this, for example, also just craft paper would look really nice. For this one. I'm definitely going to just use some washy specially to girl with autism. Well, and the way you go. Then I heard just add one of the labels. As you can see, this is what they would look like if printed out and coffee dyed paper. And that is my personal favorite as many of you who've taken my other classes. You have a known. And what I've done, I've actually made this label, it a little bit smaller because I found that the other label are made was maybe just a little bit too big. So in the printable files from this class, you will have the slightly smaller labels. And what I've done when I cut them out, I'm just leaving a little bit of a frame outside the black frame. And this way, if the background is dark, I feel it will show up. Nicer on this one. I think I'll probably send these to my sister. So I will put my sister's name on here because I haven't seen my sister for quite a while. She was a productive visit me in the summer, but because of the coronavirus lockdowns and also the travel corridors and between countries and she does live in a different country. I couldn't see her this summer. I'm sorry. I thought it would be nice to just send something in the post. Right, so this is how to make a set of field companions. And in the next video, we're going to talk about the project. 10. Class Project: Hello again. First of all, thank you so much for taking my class. I really hope that you enjoyed this class on it, that it has inspired you to make your own set of feel companions. Which brings us obviously to the project, we would like to have a go at making your own feel companion. Be it using scrapbook paper or one of your own designs that would be really fantastic to make the color and the band. Or you might decide to use the printout I have provided for this class. Might do a mixture of both. So just take a photograph of your finished field notes or of a kind of like a work in progress while you're making your field notes. You could take a photograph of your field notes in action where you are actually taking it out or you're using it in whichever way you are planning on using them. Whether beer to being out and about or just having it in your pocket. So in case you need to queue and Europe and you can just get it out and start to do some sketching or just note down some ideas. Yes, So just take photographs. I would also be really interested in how you're planning on using your field notes. Also. Are you planning to make them for yourself? Am I thinking about giving them away as a present? How do you like the idea of fear companions, and kinda the notional heart behind them? Do you think it would be a nice idea to send something like this to a friend or family member that you've not been able to see? Also just select No, I'm presently working on a new class. What I'm going to incorporate the fear companions. I'm hoping to get this one out really soon or so. If you've enjoyed this class, you would like to be informed about any classes that I'm going to publish, make sure that you follow me on Skillshare because that means that you will automatically be notified whenever a new class gets published. Okay, so then, thanks again for taking my class and I hope to see you in my next class.