Sunday, December 19, 2010

Paper Storage - An Evolutionary Process

My paper storage has been just that, an evolutionary process.  Much like any kind of organization, it evolves, changes, and gets better (or sometimes worse).  Depending on our needs at the time, our storage and organization can take on many forms.  I am really happy with my paper storage in its present state of evolution.

I will take you through my paper storage journey.

My first way of storing paper was in a 24 cubby paper storage organizer. The kind you find at office supply stores.  Since I had all 48 SU colors plus the neutral colors, I had to double up the papers in each slot.  It worked, but I wanted something better.  Back then I didn't think to take photos of my storage - who does that sort of thing?

Then one day, my husband came home with two of these metal storage shelves from a friends office that was closing down.  The were free!

I now had enough room to put each color paper in its own slot.  Hurray!  I had more than enough room for this shelf in the closet of my craft room.  This was very early on in my crafting days, hence all the storage space, and it was important to me to keep my paper out of the light to reduce fading.  I used the second shelf to store my stamps.

Then we moved.

And I lost half of my closet space.

I had to find a new way to store my paper.  Or an old way.  I went back to the 24 cubby system, but ended up with two of them.  I still had to double up some of my paper, but it worked for the time being.

Then I decided to store my paper by color families in magazine holders.  This was a much better system for utilizing my space - something I was losing at an exponential rate.  (Crafting hoarders know what I mean!)

I layed the holders on their backs so I would have full access to pull the papers out, and it also lessened the space between my shelves in my closet.  Each color family had its own holder.  My 12x12 paper was stored in Cropper Hopper storage units in no particular order.

I haven't mentioned yet how I stored my scraps.  At first, I had a binder for each color family and a page protector for each color.  Boy, how I was organized!  But if I needed access to more than one binder, it became quite a mess pulling out scraps all over the place.  I decided to use a portable file box and used a hanging file folder for each color.  (Still sorted by SU color families).  This was a great method to keep all my scraps together, and I do use them.  I always look at my scraps first before cutting into a new sheet.  You know how I hate to waste my supplies!

This is my portable file box with all my scraps.
Then one day, my husband came home with a modular wall storage unit he got at a garage sale that he thought I could use in my craft room.  He is always looking out for me!  One of the units was a file cabinet, and perfect for all my 8 1/2 x 11 papers.

All of the SU colors fit in one drawer.

And the neutrals and other misc. papers fit in the other.

I still had to keep my scraps seperate because there wasn't enough room to combine them like I really wanted to.

Then my room got a make-over, and ScrapNcube had just what I needed.  I wanted to put my scraps with my full sheets, and their file drawers are much larger than the ones I was using, so I was able to put them all together.  That is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  No more going to two different places for the same thing.

I decided to abandon the color families and organized by ROYGBV.  That is the second best decision I have ever made.  I'm still trying to figure out why I didn't do that sooner.

The top file drawer has all the SU colors including the neutrals and In Colors.  Each color has its own hanging file folder.  I keep my paper in the plastic wrap (no, I don't know why) and the scraps live in front of the full sheets.  These drawers are huge - I have at least a full pack of each color plus scraps, and they all fit in one drawer.

The bottom drawer has misc 8 1/2 x 11 papers and all the retired papers that I now keep in the portable file box.  I just stuck the whole thing in the drawer.

Now for my patterned paper storage.  ScrapNcube's hanging file drawers are perfect for all my 12x12 papers.  I purged a lot of my patterned paper when I was putting my room back together so I would have room to store what I really wanted to keep.

The first drawer has all my SU patterned paper, and the second drawer has SU solid/textured 12x12 papers and misc patterned paper from other companies.  If I ever get back into scrapbooking, I'll use some of this paper.  I find it very challenging to use it on my CAS style cards.

I think I have finally found the perfect paper storage for me - file drawers with a file for each color, scraps together with full sheets, protected from the light, and very accessible.

If you're still with me, I hope you have found some inspiration for your paper storage needs.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Teacher Tags

I'm sorry it has been so long since I've posted.  I don't know what I have been doing because not much has gotten done.  I haven't had much mental energy the past couple weeks and haven't felt particularly creative.  Bah humbug!  Now if I could just get my Christmas cards finished and mailed (I know!), and my Christmas shopping finished, I'd be all set.  Oh, and make another batch of caramels and a batch of French Waffles.  I was going to do my waffles today, but I'm on call and can't start them for another 2 hours until my call shift is over.

On to my intended post...

One thing I have accomplished in the last weeks is making tags for the kids' teachers.  I had every intention of making them each a pack of cards, but when time snuck up on me, I had to settle for tags.  I came up with 12 different designs, and packaged them in a cello bag with a topper.  I'm bummed I didn't get a photo of the finished bag because they turned out really cute.

Here are all the tags together.

Following are the individual tags.

I inked the stamp with Versamark, then Cherry Cobbler, and embossed with clear EP.  Since the ornament punch is on backorder, these were all hand cut.

Snowflake stamped with Versamark, embossed with detail white EP.

Stamped with Versamark, embossed with marcasite EP.  This is much sparklier IRL.

Just Frosty's head, colored with Copics.  Nestabilities petite oval.

These are so pretty.  Stamped with Versamark and Pacific Point, embossed with Iridescent Ice EP.

Versamark pen on bottom of tag, Iridescent Ice EP.

Versamark, detail gold EP.

I inked just this sentiment from the Jolly Jingles jumbo wheel.  It was really fun trying to line it up straight on the oval and roll it by hand!  :)  I ran my cherry cobbler marker around the edge of these tags.

Nothing fancy on this one.  XL decorative label punch.

Ditto on this one.

I removed the cat hair before this went in the package.  I'm surprised her foot didn't show up in one of the photos.  Moonshine was all over the table while I was photographing these tags.

And my favorite of the whole bunch...

Aren't they the cutest?  I got the idea from one of the stamps in the Tags til Christmas set.  I have had these ribbon slides forever, and they finally got put to good use.  I used the small and large tag punches and a 1/8" circle punch for the buttons.  Adorable!

I had so much fun making all these tags.  I have never made my own tags in the past, but I can see some more in my future.

Just as soon as I get my cards in the mail, my shopping done, my caramels and waffles made...

Maybe next year!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Punch Storage - Before and After

My old punch storage, a clear, over the door shoe holder, worked great.  It was accessible and I could see everything at a glance.  There were a few problems with it, though.  I outgrew it, there was no place to put my smaller punches and border punches, the weight of all the punches started to warp the door frame, and my closet door wouldn't close all the way.  Yikes!

The old way.

I really liked the rail system I saw other people using for their punches.  I searched all the local stores for cheap curtain rods, and ended up getting mine at Bed Bath & Beyond (with a coupon of course).  They are the BB&B brand 7/16" cafe rods that adjust from 28"-48" and were less than $5 each.  I was concerned about the weight of the punches on such a small diameter rod so I purchased extra brackets so we (thanks, wonderful hubby!) could install one on every stud, and they have held up really well.

The new way.  This looks so much neater.  And I'm a neat freak, so that is really important to me.  :)

The rods are spaced 6 " apart, and anchored every 18" on the studs.

The best part about this system is I can still expand the rods out to the next stud when I need to.  It looks like that will be happening soon, because I don't have any more room on these rods and I just ordered more punches.

Like I don't have enough already.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Ribbon Storage - Before and After

You may or may not have noticed how my ribbon was stored in my before picture.  I picked up two cardboard ribbon display holders from JoAnn's one year at the end of the holiday season.  They just gave them to me, and they were great for storing my ribbon.

Until I ran out of places to put them.

I could have painted them a pretty color, but that would have been too much trouble, and I always viewed them as a temporary storage solution.  They were fine until I could figure out how I wanted to store my growing supply of ribbon.

This was the old way.  I put SU ribbon in one holder, and all other brands in the other one.  Once I ran out of room, they ended up stacked in front of each other.  No matter which one ended up in front, I always needed what was in the back.  Ugh!  I had the cardboard holders, SU ribbon storage thingys, and jars with ribbon in them.  Nothing but a big mess!!  My ribbon needed some serious help.

When I use ribbon, I like to have the whole spool out.  Once I decide what ribbon I am going to use, I tie it to my project and cut it from the spool.  I hate to waste ribbon.  Almost as much as I hate to waste paper.  For that reason, using a dowel system would never work.  I would be forever removing and replacing spools.

I considered using a gutter (or three), but didn't have the wall space.

The pretty little boxes with grommet holes wouldn't work for the same reason as the dowels.

I even tried wrapping my ribbon around clothespins that was all the rage a couple years ago.  Boy am I sorry I wasted my time on that!  I didn't like that system at all.

I tried wrapping the ribbon around large flat spools like the ones you can use for embroidery thread.  Even though the ribbon wasn't wrapped tightly, it still came out with creases.

One option that was left was to go back to storing them in drawers like I did when I first started accumulating ribbon.  Sometimes you don't know how good a system is until you try everything else.  Since I was planning my own storage, I made sure to include what I needed for my ribbon.

One thing I like about storing them in drawers is that they are protected from light and dust.  With the ScrapNcube drawers, I can organize them by color, and I put a divider made out of foam board between the rows to keep them tidy.  This is a QB3 drawer.

This is what my ribbon looks like now.  It's so much nicer this way!

I underestimated how much room I needed for my ribbon, and need another drawer or two, but I love this way of storing my ribbon.  It is all together, protected from light and dust, and I can get to it very easily.

I put tiny tags of each color of ribbon on the drawer handles, so I can tell at a glance what drawer I need to open.

Since the SU grosgrain spools are so large, I have all of them stored in one of the larger drawers you can see in the above picture.

All in all, I am very happy with this way of storing my ribbon.  It is everything I want and nothing I don't.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are You Ready for a Tour?

Finally!  It's only been 2 months since I received my ScrapNcube order, and I'm finally settled in.

Well, almost.

I just got an email yesterday that ScrapNcube is offering 10% off all orders placed for a limited time only.  I have been keeping a list of what I need to store a few more of my items, so I will be placing another order soon.  Then I will have to rearrange and get organized again.  Merry Christmas to me!

Without further ado, here is my room before and after.

Wall A.  This makes my eyes burn.

Wall B.  This makes my eyes water.

Wall C.  My 30 year old desk I had in high school!

Wall D.  I can't stand it anymore!

Do your eyes hurt yet?  I'm so glad I don't have to look at that ever again!  I don't know how I ever made anything in that mess.

Are you ready for the big reveal?

Drum roll please...

Ta-da!  My new Craft Cave!  All organized and no clutter!  Believe it or not, this was taken over two weeks ago, and with the exception of a few papers on my desk and my coffee cup, it looks the same.

Wall A.  The white shelf holds only part of my stamp collection.  I'm still working on that unmounting thing.  The hanging file drawers hold all of my 12x12 patterned and solid papers.  I work standing up in the corner so I can get natural light during the day.

Wall B.  All of my 8 1/2 x 11 papers are stored in the two file drawers.  The file unit was custom sized to fit between the corner tables to fit my room.  From left to right in the cubes, I have my color organized embellishments, embossing folders, ribbon, more ribbon, individual stamps, and misc. punches and tools.  Most of the items I have in the photo storage boxes will find new homes in the cubes I will be ordering.

Wall C.  Empty space I can fill up with more cubes!  I couldn't bear to take down my kids' artwork, so it just got rearranged.  The window on this wall is the original basement window we left in place when we added on to the side of the house.  It still lets light into the main part of the basement.

Wall D.  I love my new punch storage.  I kept my sewing table the same for now, but it may change.

So there you have it.  I am still in awe everytime I walk in my new room.  I hope it never wears off!

I will post some more detailed pictures of my before and after storage later this week.  It is amazing how much room I saved by going with the ScrapNcube system.  Plus, it is soooo much nicer to look at.  I can't say enough about the superior quality of their products and the excellent customer service I received.  If you are thinking about getting organized, I highly recommend that you check them out at .  You will not be disappointed, and it is worth every penny!

(Disclaimer:  This is not a paid advertisement for ScrapNcube.  I just love them and their products!)

Make it a great day!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Farewell CAS Design Team

It is really hard to believe my time on the CAS DT has come to an end.  This week was our final post, and I am quite sad.  The new Design Team will be revealed this Friday.

The challenge for this week was to use some type of flower accent.  I have some Prima flowers that are severely neglected and decided that didn't need to change so I used punched flowers on my cards.

I don't quite remember how I thought to use my 5-flower punch to make a poinsettia (I made this a couple weeks ago since we were going to be out of town), but I really like how it turned out.  After I punched the 3 layers of the flower, I trimmed one flower down and scored veins in all of the petals.  Then I shaped them to curve down a little bit.  I had planned on sponging the edges for a little definition, but in my haste to assemble the flower I forgot.  The center is made from 1/8" punches grouped together and topped off with a little diamond Stickles.

I realize poinsettias don't grow on pine trees, but the pine branches were the shape I wanted for a corner focal point.  I really liked the card when I made it, but the more I look at it, the more it bothers me.  It's a good thing I'll be sending out my Christmas cards soon!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Pines, Many Merry Messages
Paper - GKD PL ivory, cherry cobbler
Ink - cherry cobbler, old olive
Accessories - 5-petal flower punch, 1/8"punch, ScorBuddy, diamond Stickles, glue dots, SAMJ

I made another card with flowers that was inspired by one of the cakes in a recent OLW challenge.

The flow of flowers is exactly as it was on the cake.  I wish I could take credit for the arrangement, but I'm not that creative.  Mine would look like a jumbled mess.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Mega Mixed Messages
Paper - marina mist, baja breeze, daffodil delight, GKD PL white
Ink - craft white
Accessories - 5-petal flower, scallop circle, trio flower, small flower, and 1/8" and 3/8" circle punches, mini scallop deco scissors, 2-way glue pen, yellow glitter, white EP, heat tool

By the way, while we were at my parents for Thanksgiving, we continued to whup up on the boys in euchre.  The final score was girls 8, boys 6.  They almost caught us, but never got ahead.  I think that is the first time they haven't pummeled us.  And it's not because we don't know how to play.  It's because my husband is lucky at cards and my Dad saves his hiney every time he gets the bid!

Hope you're having a great week!