Saturday, January 31, 2009


Creative endeavors have been delayed a bit.....we've had some issues with ice on our roof and DH and my FIL have been out scraping snow and ice off our roof. One of these methods involves hanging out our skylights in our attic, so all my craft stuff had to be moved so they could set the ladder up under the skylights. So, things are on hold.

I've been brainstorming items to make for my craft table at the fair. I've made four more of those notepad holders, and I have the coasters to make a few more. I've found a few pre-made albums that I made at conventions or classes that I never used. I think next I'm going to make some cards. I have a bunch of ideas in mind, so if I can make six or so of each, I'll have a good batch. Some of the SBO sistas suggested that pre-made pages sell well. I have a whole bunch of pages that I made while teaching classes that I never added photos or titles to, so I think I'll embellish them up a bit. So far, all I've spent is the $15 for the table, so I'm in good shape.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Featured Article at Helium

An article I wrote was featured on the front page of, an information portal. Oddly enough it was the lower ranked of the two in the category, go figure? It's a beginner's article, but go read it anyways, LOL!

Getting Started with Scrapbooking

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bad Blogger.

Nothing to report. Nothing new. Although my scrap table is mostly cleared off, and I've picked out some ribbon to make some cute coaster notepad holders (instructions HERE if you want to make your own).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Side Project - Craft Fair

Well, I found out the other day that P's school is having a Fun Fair in March, and they are renting tables for vendors. So, I got the bright idea of using up as much stuff in my stash as I can, and selling it at a table at the fair. E thinks it's a good idea, and the gals at SBO gave me some good advice and ideas for products that I hadn't thought of. So, I need to clean off my scrap table, and actually scrap and organize at the same time. *cringe* I could really use the extra $$, and I have so much extra paper and embellishments and alterables and albums that I could really put to good use, rather than just taking up space in my stash. may see some more crafty creations here too if I can get my act together. :) I have to pay for the table now, so that will get me moving!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sorting, sorting, sorting

I haven't updated in a couple days, because I'm not doing anything too exciting. Right now I'm sorting through all of my scrap materials and putting like things together. I took a box and put all of the cards I've made, card blanks and envelopes in there. Any other cards I come across will go in there. Another box for ribbon, and so on. So like I said, not too exciting.

According to the book, you shouldn't even think about buying any new containers until you've sorted and purged, so you can see how much storage space you really need. Makes sense, but still hasn't stopped me from perusing the Ikea web site. I like their stuff because it's simple and cheap. So, later on after I've done my sorting and purging, I'll be making a road trip to our nearest Ikea (1+ hour drive, unfortunately).

I have been coming across a lot of scrap projects I've never photographed or scanned, so maybe I'll share those here occasionally so there's at least some interesting content once in a while.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Organizing Acrylic Stamps

My friend Nicole at SBO was asking about ways to store acrylic stamps in a method that's efficient yet accessible. I totally LOVE my storage method for my acrylic and unmounted rubber stamps, and it's probably one of my best organizational items in my scrap area. I do not honestly know where I found the idea, I did not come up with this idea myself.

I use a 3-ring binder, 8.5x11 transparencies, and page protectors that hold 8.5x11 sheets. I can then flip through the binder to find the stamps I need, and this method also allows me to store Technique Tuesday stamps that are already stored on their own full sized sheet.

I start with a blank transparency and the sheet of acrylic stamps that I want to transfer. I adhere the printed plastic piece that the stamps are adhered to in their package to one side of the transparency, then cling the matching stamps to the opposite side of the transparency, matching it up with the image on the printed plastic piece. The pic below shows the "stamp" side of a transparency, so everything looks reversed.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Rearranging Furniture

I made a slight change to my scrap space furniture, and I'm really happy with the results. See photo below. I moved the second bookcase next to the first bookcase (scroll down a few posts to see the original setup), and I like how much more "homogeneous" it looks. I have some ideas for storage elements to go into the shelves that will make everything even more consistent looking.

My thoughts for "zones" is to have materials in the left bookcase, tools, albums, photos, books, and such in the right bookcase, and display of items across the top of the bookcases, and across the wall in front of my desk.

A side note, see that little table to the right of my craft table? That's the kid craft table, and while it's covered with my junk for now, it will be just for the kids later. I also have a trash can that will go between the two tables.

Next step will be to start sorting through my stuff. I've been starting to put like things together to simplify that process. While I sort, I'll purge out things that I really don't need. My sister has volunteered to take any unwanted materials off my hands for her own crafting needs.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Break in the Action

I took a break in my organizing activities to scrap a couple of thank you notes that I needed to send out. Thought I'd share those today instead of my philisophical ramblings about my lack of organizational prowess.

Cards are made completely from scraps. No sheets of 12x12 paper were harmed during the construction process. I don't know most of the manufacturers, though the ribbon in both cards is Strano (Strano = yummy). I had a couple of scraps that were just about the right width for the card.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Part 2 - Strategize!

After analyzing what I like and don't like about my space, and all of my therapeutic postings below, it's now time to strategize what I need.

A. Define Your Zones

I figured out that my scrap space has six zones:

1. Work space - My crafting table. This is where I'd sit and work.
2. Material storage - Where I keep all of my papers, embellishments, etc. Pretty much consumable stuff.
3. Tool storage - Where I keep all of my cutting tools, stamps, inks, and other non-consumable stuff. Also includes idea books and mags that I want to keep.
4. Project storage - Where I keep projects that are in process. I am the type of person that works on more than one thing at a time, and I want a logical way to store things that I'm working on so I'm not pushing piles around on my table.
5. Project display - I do have several things I'd like to display in my space, such as cards, altered items, ATCs, and other things.
6. Computer space - This is only sort of related to my crafting space, but includes my printer and CraftRobo, which I REALLY want to start using more. Also storing CDs with fonts and digi elements.

The goal is to have each of these zones be discrete areas, such as one bookshelf for material storage, one for tools, etc.

My next steps are to map out my space, and rearrange furniture to get a general configuration that I'm happy with. I'll take pics at that point.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Analyze - Continued

Here's the rest of the "Analyze" phase of my scrap space reorg. Parts 1 and 2 were posted last week, scroll down to read those.

3. What items are essential to you?

Is this a trick question? I think I need everything. :) There's no one category of items I know I can toss, or there's no one area of stuff I'm really missing. I'll evaluate what I need and don't need on a case by case basis when I sort and purge later.

4. Why do you want to get organized?

-So I have a place to be creative.
-So I have a home for all of my supplies and tools, and it's easy to get things and put things away.
-S0 I eliminate all of the crap I'm never going to use.
-So I have an attractive workspace that I look forward to working in.
-So I have space to work efficiently.
-So I finish projects and am able to share them.

5. What's holding you back?

This is that deep philosophical question, right? Something I need a therapist to help me with? Basically, I am overwhelmed with the clutter, and the task of sorting, purging, organizing and just coping with it. I have issues with large projects: I see the clutter and I just avoid the situation. I haven't scrapped layouts in months (outside of the SBO retreat) because I have no space to lay out the project. I hardly even take pictures, and I want to keep recording the memories that my family is making.

I know that this process is already helping me attack the situation, and I am far less anxious about it than I have been before. Next up? Planning the general layout of my space, and maybe moving furniture around a bit to see how I like the looks of things.

P.S. I have to offer my apologies to Ms. Morgenstern, the author of the book I'm using as a guide for my organization process. (Organizing from the Inside Out) I have misspelled her name several different ways in every single post, and her first name is Julie, not Julia! I've gone back and corrected her name. I'm really picky about name spelling myself, and I feel bad when I get someone's name wrong. Not that she's reading my blog or anything, but I feel better knowing I've got it right.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Analyze - Part 2: What's not Working

Oh, where to begin....

My biggest beef is that so many of my things in my craft space do not have a home, or have a home that is not adequate. Here are a few of my specific peeves:

1. Chipboard - Currently, most of my chipboard supply is in an overflowing shoebox. I hate trying to go through it. The shoebox does not include my Fancy Pants Big Board chipboard, which I keep with my 12x12 paper because it's that big, or my grungeboard, which wouldn't fit into the overflowing shoebox anyways. The grungeboard moves around depending on whether I need whatever it's currently sitting on top of.

2. Inks - I have several different kinds of inks, and they are scattered in three or four places. I have a drawer in one of my little drawer sets that is supposed to be for ink, but I keep my acrylic blocks in there too, along with some well-intentioned organizing bins that really don't fit anything. I also have ink pads sitting on my scrap table, in my scrap tote, and all my Ranger distress inks and accessory stuff is in another shoebox on the other side of the room.

3. Larger embellishments - These are also scattered all over the place. Some are in drawers, others in shoe boxes, no real system at all.

4. ATCs - I have a whole bunch of artist trading cards that I've made myself or received in swaps and they're all in a box that doesn't see the light of day. I'd love to find a way to display these somehow.

5. Projects in Process - One of the things I've been doing as I start going through my stuff is making a list of unfinished projects. So far, and I've only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of organizing, I have twelve unfinished projects. They are everywhere. I think eventually I will go through and divide them into "projects I'm really going to finish" and "projects I'll never finish, so I'll recycle what I can from the project".

6. Photos - I have NO problem with 4x6 photos. I have a big Cropper Hopper photo box with individual boxes inside sorted by year. It's all the rest of the photos I have problems with. We have a TON of 8x10s from our trip to Hawaii, a whole bunch of panoramic photos (remember that funky camera that shot three different widths of photos? We had one pre-digital), school photos, and other stuff. Not sure what the heck I'm going to do there yet. Then there's negatives and those little film canisters and contact sheets from said funky camera.

7. Cutting Tools - This is really a case of a drawer that is just not big enough for all of my tools. So, other tools get left on the table or in my crop tote.

8. Foam Stamps - Currently in shoe boxes, but boy do these take up a lot of space. Alphabets are each stored in a ziplock bag. Need a better solution so I know what I have and they are more accessible.

I think I could go on and on with this. But these are the things that stand out the most.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Analyze - Part 1: What Works?

I took a look over my existing scrap and craft space and tried to make a list of the things that DO work for me. I've been focusing so much on what doesn't work, and stressing over not being able to find things, that it was nice to think about what I actually do like about my space.

1. Setting - I love the space where my scrap table is. The skylight gives me some great natural light. I also have an old recycled table from my husband's aunt and uncle that I just love. It's the perfect size for the work I do there.

2. 12x12 paper storage - I use vertical Cropper Hopper paper holders for my 12x12 paper. Cardstock is easy, it's sorted by color in its own holder. Patterned paper is a little different, and I'm not as satisfied with my system. Older paper I have in one holder sorted by color. These are mostly papers I bought before I even knew anything about specific manufacturers, etc. The other holder I have newer papers sorted by manufacturer. I keep large scraps with the whole sheets of paper.

3. Scrap paper storage - I have an accordion file labeled by color where I store all of my paper scraps. I define a scrap as at least 12 square inches, anything smaller I toss, generally. The only problem is that I don't use my scraps as much as I should.

4. Pens and frequent tools - I have an altered metal beverage container on my desk where I store pens, pencils, files, and other tools. It definitely works, but could use some purging.

5. Acrylic stamps - All of my stamps are clung to transparencies, slipped into page protectors, and stored in a 3-ring binder. The one I have is quite full, I either need a second binder or a larger binder. The only problem I have with this system is that I don't have a good storage location for the binder.

6. Ribbon storage - All of my ribbon (other than full spools) is wrapped onto cardstock pieces and filed in a wooden box that I think is part of a drawer organization system. I need to start a second box, because I have too many whole spools of ribbon to fit in the box I have. Ribbon scraps go into a glass vase. I don't have a good location for the vase.

Well, those are the things about my system that work. Tomorrow, my complaints about the things that don't work!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year! And so it Begins...

As I start my scrap space re-org and search for my missing mojo, I thought I'd share where I'm starting from. My scrap space is along one wall in our finished attic. It's a beautiful spot, and I love that there is a skylight right above my work table.

This is my main scrap area. The table is my workspace, and the bookshelf to the left is for storage. I had a matching bookshelf to the right of the table (you can see the edge of it off to the right), but we had to move it because we put a floor vent in so that our attic can be heated finally! So, I will not be able to move the bookshelf back into it's original position, which is fine.

To the left of the bookshelf shown in the previous picture is my desk with computer and such. Because my scrap table has become overrun with junk, I started scrapbooking on my desk, and now it's overrun. Part of my organization will include converting my desk back into a desk and using it for my business office space, although that is a secondary objective.

I'll be providing more pics and more details about the things that actually work in my space, and things I want to change, and I'll be sharing my planning approach as I go along. I am trying to take this one small step at a time, so that I don't get overwhelmed and procrastinate and abandon the project altogether, because I really REALLY want to get this space into a state that really gets my creativity flowing.

One rule I'm setting for myself: I am NOT starting any new projects while I reorganize, unless it's something small like a card for an occasion that I can get done in one sitting without disrupting my organization process. I'll be keeping a notebook of project ideas, and also collecting all of the unfinished projects I have (and I know I have several) as I go.

This is a lot to say, and enough for now. I need to actually get in there and start planning. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm using a book by Julie Morgenstern as my guide so I do this right. One of the first things she recommends when you're looking at a space is to figure out what parts of your system are actually working for you, rather than starting by focusing on what doesn't work. I'm going to spend today assessing what I actually do like about my space, and I'll post about that tomorrow.