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!


Monday, November 22, 2010

CAS94 - Sponging

The CAS challenge for this week is to use sponging.  I love sponging, and if you take a look in the CAS94 gallery, you will find many, many ways to use it.  That is what I love about sponging - you can achieve a variety of different looks with it.

I decided to sponge my background on this card.

I had never sponged with my newer Versamagic chalk inks, so I tried them on here.  It took a little getting used to because the ink is a lot thicker than dye ink and tends to blotch up on the paper if you aren't careful.  Ink can be applied by dabbing or rubbing when you sponge, and I found myself rubbing the chalk inks a lot more than when I use dye ink. 

I really like the texture the watercolor paper gives to this image.  It adds just enough interest without being overly obvious.  I tried spritzing the background with water to get a watercolored look, but didn't notice any change with the chalk ink.  *Note to self to use dye ink if I want that effect.*

This card looks much prettier IRL.  The colors are very rich, and I could not get a good photo no matter what I tried, so just imagine it being a lot more vibrant!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Pocket Silhouettes
Paper - Fabriano 120 lb cold press watercolor paper, espresso, cajun craze
Ink - various Versamagic chalk inks, espresso
Accessories - Nestabilities ovals, Big Shot, sponges, satin ribbon, home made bow easy, dimensionals

On a side note, we are at my parents for the holiday week.  We girls whupped the boys in euchre last night 4 games to 0.  I thought it very interesting that my husband wanted to play a different game after they had lost twice.  Heehee!  Paybacks!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vintage Santa

As soon as I saw this set in the Holiday Mini, I knew I had to have it.  This Santa reminds me of a mug my Mom has had forever that always decorates the mantle at Christmas.  I have seen newer mugs in the same style, but they're just not the same.

Since the Santa reminded me of my Mom's vintage mug, I wanted to make a vintage style card.  There is only one problem; vintage and CAS aren't very compatible.  I gave it a try anyway.

Not too bad.  This definitely has a vintage edge to it, but it's still pretty CAS.  It's almost as close as it can get without stepping out of bounds.

The Ho!Ho!Ho! was made by masking off the "Hol" from the Happy Holidays stamp and stamping it three times.  The dot on the exclamation point is the dot from the "i" of the same stamp.  How creative of me!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Jolly Old Saint Nick, Jolly Bingo Bits, Season's Greetings
Paper - naturals ivory, cherry cobbler, kraft
Ink - Memento rich cocoa, cherry cobbler, espresso
Accessories - cherry cobbler, blush blossom, and pretty in pink reinkers, aquapainter, white gelly roll pen, blue marker, 2-way glue pen, white flock, dauber, edge distresser tool, lace, dimensionals

I'm pretty sure I won't use the other 2 images in this set (I think they're kind of ugly), but I'm glad I have this Santa.  Have you ever bought a whole set for just one stamp?  Do tell.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, November 15, 2010

CAS93 A Sketch Challenge

This week's CAS challenge is a great sketch by Lori (ltecler).  Here is her card.

One of my friends was just diagnosed with lupus this past week, and I wanted to make her a card of encouragement.  This sentiment came in a pack with other sentiments by kids of all ages, and I thought it would make a great card for her.  It worked out perfect for the sketch this week, too.

I flipped the layout so it would look like a right handed batter was swinging the bat.  I left off the large layer and scored a simple frame instead.

The baseball is a Nestabilities die cut, and the seams were hand drawn using a circle die as a guide.  The bat was cut out by hand, and a pink card base lends it a girly feel.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Inkadinkadoo, CHF woodgrain backgrounder
Paper - GKD PL white, kraft, pink pirouette
Ink - Memento black, kraft, going gray
Accessories - Nestabilities circle dies, Big Shot, daubers, going gray and red markers, dimensionals, Scor-Buddy

Have you hugged a friend today?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trouble Maker(s)

A few days ago, I noticed a bunch of my cotton swabs all over the shelf where I keep them.  At first I thought the kids must have gotten into them and made a mess putting them away.  Then I saw the bite marks and realized my kids were innocent for once.

Here is the guilty one.
Is this a look of mischief, or what?

She thinks she might be able to get away with it this time.  What she doesn't realize is that I have a camera in my hands.

"Yes!  I got one!"

"Yum!  These are so fun to chew on!"

"Here's one for you, Sis.  I don't want to be the only one getting in trouble."

"Oops, I dropped it.  Can you help me find it, Sis?"

"Here, take this one!"

"Aw, Mom!  What did you have to do that for?  No fair!"

Because I've already spent a fortune in vet bills on you this month, that's why!

Hope you're having as great a weekend as I am!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Seventy-five Sets

As you know, I have been in the process of unmounting my sets.  I have come a long way, but still have a looooong way to go.  It has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would, but it is so worth it.

And this is why...

There are about 75 SU sets in this 11" space.  That is eleven inches, not feet.  I couldn't believe it when I started counting the sets in this cubicle.  I had to count them more than once because it seemed unreal that I could have that many sets in such a small amount of space.

At first, I was overwhelmed with all my sets and how I would combine them, but once I got started, they just seemed to fall in place.  I have trees sets and leaves together, flowers, Christmas sets, Halloween sets, and sentiment sets together.  I can usually get at least four sets in each case, so you can see how that saves on storage space.

If I can combine the rest of my sets that I haven't unmounted yet in the same way, I will have more than enough room for all my stamps in this 8 cubicle shelf.  I have a few sets that I will probably never unmount, but I will have plenty of space to store them too.

I have to admit that this is another one of my lame excuses for not stamping lately.  Almost every time I pull out a set to stamp, I end up unmounting and combining sets.  Then before I know it, it's time to pick up the kiddos from school, and "Mommy Time" is over.

One of these days...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

OLW28 - Color Me Bad

The one layer challenge this week is to use at least five (5!) colors on our card.  Since I just made a Rainbow Fish card yesterday, I thought of a rainbow and all its colors for this challenge.  I don't have a rainbow stamp so I improvised and used my Nestabilities circle dies to draw one.

I had the rainbow all colored in nice and pretty, but it looked a little flat, so I colored it again with my Spica glitter pens.  That made all the difference in this card.

The clouds were sponged with bashful blue, and I rounded the corners to tie all the curves together.  The rainbow and clouds are up on dimensionals.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Hero Arts sentiment
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento black, bashful blue
Accessories - Nestabilities circle dies, PTI cloud dies, Big Shot, Copics, At You Spica pens, dauber, dimensionals, corner rounder

O.k.  I just realized this probably doesn't qualify for a OLC.  Duh!  Or is it ok to have a popped image?  I think I already know the answer to that question, but thought I'd ask anyway.

Oh, well, I still like it.  A lot.