I learned how to use Illustrator mainly to create and grade my sewing patterns but, gee, what fun you can have whiling away the hours with little projects that have no particular purpose (well none that I can think of at this point...).
But I do love my little birdy and learned a thing or two in the process of drawing my little landscape.
There are some excellent sites which help you learn tips and tricks in Adobe Creative Suite, lynda.com and nicolesclasses.com being two recent discoveries.
The washi tape and linen backgrounds I used are digital papers from huetoo on etsy. I also referred to this free tutorial on how to use clipping masks to add shaped outlines to a pattern (or photo).
Perhaps my b & w working files could make the beginnings of a colouring book for the girls?