An Amazing Review

24 Jul

Have you heard about The Amazings?

Silver Clay 2

I know what you’re thinking. “Laurennnn, why are you telling us about this – there are SO MANY online video classes, this market is oversaturated and we are tired of hearing about it blah blah blah.”

Well, take a look at their Mission Statement:
The Amazings was born out of a single, simple idea.
Society has always learned from its elders. but somewhere along the way we have lost that connection between generations β€” which means losing rich, valuable, and rare skills.
We’re on a mission to fix this and we need your help.

Felt Furry 1

If that doesn’t immediately appeal to you, I don’t know what does! Granted, I’m not trying to badmouth other forms of online video learning – I love ’em all, I’d buy ’em all if I could justify the cost and time – but there’s something to be said about learning from someone who’s been honing their craft for years and years. It’s like learning from your granny, except it’s actually probably someone else’s granny πŸ˜‰

Felt Furry 2

Even better, up to 20% of every enrollment goes directly to the elders teaching the classes. Since most of them are retired, you can imagine how much this benefits them.

Big Needle 3

The Amazings has been around for over a year, teaching classes in London (lord, I wish I lived in London – some of those look AWESOME!), but they’ve recently branched out into the online world with videos to teach certain skills. There are currently 10 classes available, with more being added regularly. I was contacted and asked if I wanted to try out a class to review – how could I say no??
(also, I have no idea what is going on with the above photo but HOLY SHIT that lady is the coolest, I want to hang out with her!!)

Natural Beauty Products 3

I chose to learn making natural beauty products. True story: I’m a bit of a documentary freak (if I’m going to sit and watch TV, I want to feel like I’m learning something in the meantime, yeah?), and I’ve watched enough about the evils of chemicals in our food and beauty products that I’m basically terrified to buy things from the grocery store now! Making the food switch has been easy – food gets consumed quickly in my home, so you gotta buy more to… uh, stay alive – but the changing out my beauty products has been a long and somewhat expensive process. My budget doesn’t allow me to buy a bunch of new stuff at whim (especially if the new is gonna cost more up front!), so I’m slowly using my old products and replacing them with more natural options.

Natural Beauty Products 4

After watching this video, I checked my cabinets and realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make my own body scrub. YES! I’m not going to show you a picture because mine is in an old salsa jar aaaand it’s pretty white trash looking, ha, but the inside looks just like this press photo! I used lavender from my garden, and peppermint essential oil, and it smells fabulous! It’s very moisturizing – which is important to me, as my skin tends to be very dry. I can’t wait to try some of the other products once I get my hands on the supplies.

Watching the class was less like watching a “class” and more like watching a small one-on-one teaching session that just happened to be videoed. It was very personal and intimate – both women were chatty, swapping stories, and it was obviously unscripted. I like that! It’s filmed in a way so that the “student” is basically a placeholder for you – asking questions you might ask and such – but of course, the elders are available for you to contact directly if you have questions. Another thing I really liked about this class was that there is a separate document with recipes, as well as a crib sheet for different types of herbs and essential oils and how they interact with your body. I’m a total n00b when it comes to skincare, so this information is super helpful!

Silver Clay 1

I’ve also been lurking on this class for making a pendant using silver clay, but it’ll have to wait for me to get my finances in order before I can really try it out. That stuff is NOT cheap! But it’s SO COOL, and Debbie makes the process look so easy. I’m not much of a butterfly person, but I am imagining so many other possibilities!

Silver Clay 3

Seriously. Those were all made with CLAY.

Upcycle 2

There are also classes on upcycling a man’s shirt, retro hair styles, needle felting, and quilting, amongst other things.

Loom Knit 4

The classes run between $12-$28 and are viewable on most devices (I say most because I did have some trouble getting the video to work on my Kindle Fire, but I have been assured that they are working on fixing that), anytime, anywhere, forever.

So… who’s interested in signing up for that silver clay class with me, and crafting some legit awesome jewelry? πŸ˜‰ Are you are terrified as chemicals as I am? What was the best thing you learned from an elder – relative or not? Let’s discuss!


34 Responses to “An Amazing Review”

  1. Ami July 24, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Hey Lauren!
    Thanks for the review, I also reviewed a couple of the Amazing’s classes for them on my blog but I didn’t watch the beauty product one! But the sound of peppermint and lavender has just tempted me to go back and take a look! YUM!!
    I watched the quilting and retro hair styling ones and they were also AMAZING πŸ˜‰ (sorry couldn’t help myself!) My review’s here if you fancy checking it out: !
    I’m lucky enough to be in London too so am going to take the class about baking French bread with the French dude! Quite excited!
    I do think the company has a pretty wicked philosophy, my mum has always been super resourceful and creative and has taught me invaluable skills over the years- cooking, gardening, knitting and of course most importantly SEWING(!!) and I think it’s amazing to have learnt from someone with so much experience! Plus it sucks that so many amazing skills are being forgotten and lost to our generation.
    PS- totally scared of chemicals these days too, I spent the younger years of my life slapping on self- tan! Lord knows that stuff ain’t chemical free so need to start making up for it! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Oh god, peppermint and lavender is my favorite scent combination! You must try it πŸ™‚ So jealous you get to go to the classes! I’d be there in a HEARTBEAT if I could make it happen (and I will… eventually ;)).

  2. Lisa July 24, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I want to try the retro hairstyling one! I am always bugging older people with “HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR HAIR DO THAT?” in old photos of them (Matthew’s mom, my mom, anyone’s grandmother ever) and the response seems to be, unfailingly, “Oh, that’s just curlers. You know, you just curl it.” THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN THAT, I AM CERTAIN. Maybe this video can show me what “that” is exactly! πŸ™‚

    And I love that your scrub turned out just like in the video (minus the jar, which cracked me up). Thanks for the heads up on this series!!

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Arghhh, my aunt Sandy gives me the same response when I ask her about her 60s ‘dos (which, btw… I need to dig up some pictures to show you. Not only was she a babe and a half – a literal beauty queen – but she had those giant 60s flip that you would DIE over). “Just using curlers” is NOT enough information, must know moreeee!

    • Ryan July 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      I want to know how to do all of the “normal” everyday hair from the 40s-60s and I’ve found some info from old magazines here and there, but they assume you know what you’re doing with your hair most of the time – and since I “came of age” in the 90s I definitely do not. One thing I’ve figured out is that a lot of the set (curl) patterns are similar for different hairstyles, so the trick is in the combing out. That’s the hardest part to master.

      • LLADYBIRD July 25, 2013 at 8:35 am #

        Yeah, I SUCK at combing out my curls. I guess i need more practice – mine just end up frizzy. Which is actually quite an accomplishment, because my hair never gets frizzy otherwise πŸ˜›

  3. Lisa Carver July 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    These classes sound fun. I’ll totally take the silver clay one with you, but only if we make eagles πŸ™‚ I’ve been thinking about taking a class on preserving food in SF, but it would be so much cooler to learn this type of stuff from someone’s grandma/pa than from a hipster. Really cool concept.

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Eagles, yesss!!

      I love the idea of taking a food preservation class. I’ve been telling my mom for years to show me how to can salsa and tomato sauce (with her endless bounty of garden tomatoes), but learning in this type of class environment would be so, so awesome too, esp since you could watch the class every year to brush up on stuff you forgot.

  4. Lana July 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Those look awesome! The best things in life I have learned from my great grandmother, grandmothers, and mom. I learned how to sew, cook, preserve food, garden, quilt, hunt, fish, etc. and just generally make do with whatever it is I have. Only go out and buy stuff if it’s absolutely necessary. *this does not apply to fabric* I don’t always succeed but I try. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      You learned how to hunt?! I need more elaboration on these, please… it sounds so awesome!!

      And no, fabric doesn’t count… because it’s a material, see, to keep you from buying clothes since you make them. At least, that’s what i tell myself πŸ˜‰

      • Lana July 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

        My great grandmother who lived next door with my dad’s parents was born in 1912. She lived in basically the same area her whole life, which was rural north east Mississippi in a little community called Hohenlinden. She got married at the height of the great depression, farmed her whole life, and could do anything. Or so I thought growing up, hell I still think that. I went hunting for the first time with her husband when I was 4 or 5. She continued to encourage me to hunt as I got older and thought that every good Southern woman should know how to handle a gun. She taught me how to skin squirrels, butcher deer, and cook anything and make it taste good. What can I say I’m Loretta Lynn country. haha! She also taught me to sew and a million other things. I still hunt and yes I do eat what I kill. I’m not a trophy hunter. I am very respectful of the land and a big believer in conservation. Sorry for the long winded response!

  5. lisa g July 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    we’re on the “no chemicals/plastics” bandwagon, slowly making changes in how we buy products. hard to go all in because of the expense, but i hear what you’re saying! we’ve been making our own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent, and using natural products for cleaners (vinegar, baking soda, borax, etc). there’s a lot more we could be doing, but baby steps are better than no steps at all! the class you reviewed sounds really interesting, and i love the idea of learning from our elders.

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      I’m a big fan of the natural cleaners, but I haven’t jumped on the dish or laundry soap bandwagon yet… probably when I use up this big bottle of laundry goo I already have (it seems even more wasteful to just throw it out, you know?). I really want to try making felted wool balls to use in place of dryer sheets. I don’t remember where I first heard about it, but it seems more fascinating than fabric softener… plus, a good use for leftover yarn butts πŸ™‚

  6. Tiffany July 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    I learned how to sew form my Grandma. She is Awesome. I love those little blue bunnies. SO CUTE.

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Lucky! I would have loved to learn how to sew from my Mamaw πŸ™‚

  7. aem2 July 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to try silver clay for a while! I’d totally take that class with you. I actually bought a couple of Craftsy classes on using metal clay, but I haven’t watched them yet. Don’t we need a kiln, though?

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      It looks like she just fired it with a butane torch. Holy shit, now I REALLY want to do this class hahaa. Let’s do this! Silver clay-along, hey-o!

  8. TinaD July 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Totally wish I were still in London…that Wild Food Event looks lush! (Okay, maybe “lush” is the wrong descriptor for “and then we go graze the hedgerows”…but damsons and elderberries grow in practically every English ditch, which means damson gin and elderberry fizz… Not so much in the US. Wonder what happens if you ferment kudzu? I’m kidding. I think.) And the bread course–because there can never, ever, be too much bread. Bite me, Atkins!

    • LLADYBIRD July 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm #


  9. Alice July 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    I’m so glad you posted about this. It looks really interesting. Thanks!

    I am very wary of man-made chemicals, too. If you haven’t read The 100 Year Lie, about how terribly exposed to chemicals we all are, do try it. It sounds like it could be a slow read, but it’s gripping! And The Sugar Blues…have you read that? It’s about the effects of refined sugar.

    And I think it’s crazy that most people just accept – or don’t realise, or just don’t care – that so much of the stuff they buy, under the guise of skincare, is just toxic in so many ways. When I tell people I only use natural products, I am sure they think I’m a crazy paranoid old woman! We need educating! Once our eyes have been opened it’s difficult to close them again. I think people just don’t realise the truth. I know I didn’t. I have a picture of my son, taken minutes after his birth. The nurse is bathing him in a huge bubble bath of chemicals. Back then I just didn’t know. Now that I do, the photo upsets me, makes me sad and angry.

    But anyway, going back to the subject of elders passing on all the v important stuff, my mum taught me to knit and to use a sewing machine when I was about eight. My dad taught me to think, to be incessantly curious about the world, and never stop being so. Question everything. I am trying to pass these things on to my son but now, when I talk about our perception of reality, or time, or about pop science, he glazes over!

    Sorry, long comment (and I haven’t even mentioned chemical sunscreen!) But your post was most interesting.

    • LLADYBIRD July 25, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Oooh thanks for the book recommendations! I’ve already requested them at my library πŸ™‚

      It’s so weird to me that so many people think natural beauty products equals a subpar product. Not even! As an example, my skin is sooo dry and even the nicest moisturizers don’t do anything for it (I even tried the La Mer stuff that is $120 for a TINY bottle!)… but coconut oil? It’s perfect.

      And, oh lord… I haven’t even looked into chemical sunscreen, but now you’ve got me terrified. I use a LOT of sunscreen because skin protection is very important to me. Better start researching into that!

      • Alice July 26, 2013 at 8:17 am #

        Look at physical sunscreens but avoid nano particles!

        I like my Coconutty oil, too! I eat it and use it on my skin. Have you tried very finely ground rhassoul clay as a cleanser?

        I hope you enjoy the books. I’m going to revisit The 100 Year Lie now I come to think of it.

        I am going to check out the hairstyles thing on The Amazings as soon as I get a sec.

  10. Elle July 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Ah the 60’s hairstyles! We used “rollers,” AKA curlers of all sizes, including frozen orange juice cans for long hair. Quite the sight to have a head full of rollers, waiting for hair to dry.

  11. Rejoice For The Day July 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I am totally anti-chemicals! You are right, it is a somewhat expensive process, but the bonus is that it is also very easy to make a lot of the cosmetics you want at home, yourself.

  12. missjoiedevivre July 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    How fantastic, I love the idea of learning from older generations – every day we are losing information from this fantastic resource.

    I think the no chemicals thing is fantastic, although I’m pretty lousy at it. Making my own skincare hadn’t really occurred to me before, but I love the idea! Let us know how the scrub works after a few days of using it.

    • LLADYBIRD July 25, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      I’ve been using it for about a week at this point and it’s great! I barely need any lotion, since the coconut oil makes my skin so happy πŸ™‚ Apparently, extended use will make hair regrowth slow, so I’m excited to see that happen! Fair warning – I use it in the shower (I’m not much of a bath person, only when I’m sick!) and it does make the tub floor pretty slick. Be careful!

  13. Kimmie July 25, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Is it cliche and dumb for me to say that this looks amazing! Do I need to teach an online class on douching your hair with vinegar? Probably.

    I do love those silvery pendants. I used to make a lot of stuff out of polymer clay when I was youger. I feel like I was way craftier when I was young and have lost that urge since being an adult and perhaps being too connected to my beep boop machines. I’ve decided recently to start cross stitching again! Maybe ill look into a class with the amazingly bc I probably need a refresher. The last time I did it I was 12 and it was a cross stitched cow.

  14. Anonymous July 25, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    This is VERY cool! When I have money I’ll have to check some of them out. It reminds me a bit of the Foxfire Magazine/ Bookseries from back in the ’70s []. My Mom had a bunch I used to love looking through them!

  15. MTangel July 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    This sounds really neat! I have to admit, my first thought was “please, let there be a class with Ann from Great British Sewing Bee!”

    Cooking is always good too, esp. canning or economy (how to use the whole chicken kind of thing). There’s a youtube cooking channel with a lady who lived in the Great Depression.

  16. Debbie A July 26, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    The lady with the fabulous hair is Ingrid Wagner – World Record breaker for big needle knitting and I’ve knitted with her at my place of work – a College that she visited to get us all knitting! she’s based in my home town – Washington (the original Washington in the UK). She’s great fun to meet!

  17. Sarah W. July 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Lau-ren! Learnin’ things! : )


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