Have you heard about Craftsy yet? It's a crafting website that offers video-based classes, craft-along workshops, and patterns for sale. I recently signed up for some Craftsy classes, 'The Starlet Suit Jacket' (screenshot below), 'Sewing Studio', and 'Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals, and Clusters', and thought it was worth sharing my initial impressions of the site with you.
First of all, let me say that I got all of my classes on sale through a Craftsy new-member special and by watching for sale announcements in the Craftsy and BurdaStyle.com mailing lists. Do some research before you buy, which includes watching some of the 2-minute lesson snippets to get a good feel for the class. If things don't work out for you, Craftsy has a money-back guarantee and, speaking from personal experience, very nice people staffing their help desk.
The Craftsy class platform itself (above) is really great and consists of the class videos, a discussion section, personal notes, and course materials. The class videos are divided into individual lessons, which are further divided into sections. This makes it easy to replay a particular demo and helps focus class discussion, as questions are associate with the section in which they are asked. You can also take notes and Craftsy will record the exact time in the lesson at which you made the note. It's pretty cool, especially because access to the content never goes away once you sign up for a class.
I'm already making use of the techniques I've learned in the wire-wrapping class by throwing together this little beaded bracelet. It's not much to write home about, but it's definitely a start! I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the videos for this class (and the others) and taking my crafting to a new level.