Organization

Hi everyone! I am doing my best to get back on the blog on a regular basis. I won't lie - it's not easy with working + 2 little ones at home, but I'm trying! I have been able to get back into crafting a bit lately - it feels SO good! When we moved, most of my stuff got packed away and I'm sad to say most of it had been sitting in boxes up until a few weeks ago. However, I've decided to take over the spare bedroom as a temporary crafting area - and get myself situated in there. Eventually we will finish our attic and turn it into a true crafting room - but for now, I will just make do ;)

If you follow me on Instagram, you can get a glimpse into my unpacking and items that I've been working on. Here are some pics that I shared of my crafty organizing thus far. I'm getting there!

I took a trip to IKEA to grab some essentials for organizing. I picked up an Alex drawer unit to house a lot of my smaller items. I really do love it...can't wait to get more, ha! ;)

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Some more BYGEL rails, similar to my old setup in the old house

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OK, onto some crafty creations! The other day I sat down to make a few cards. I used the Chubby Chum Pals stamp set from Paper Smooches - such a cute set. I colored all of these images using Prismacolor pencils and gamsol. WAY easier (IMO) than busting out the Copic markers. This first card is a CASE from Kristina's version.

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that's it for now - stay tuned for more projects! I just finished up a felt Advent calendar that I made from scratch and I'm pretty proud of myself. I definitely want to share that with you all! :) Thanks for reading!

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Hi everyone! I was finally able to complete the new room and get some video & photos of my new crafting space. You may remember this post where I said we completed the attic renovation? Well, we moved our guest bedroom up there, as well as my craft room.

I was excited to do this because as much as I loved my last craft room, it was very much "pieced together" with various tables and furniture. It was never really planned out as a functional space. There wasn't a lot of places to put things away behind closed doors - and it was starting to overwhelm me. Having everything in sight was starting to make me feel suffocated and I was losing my stamping mojo. I also felt like I just had *too much* - I needed to cut down and really keep out only what I truly use.

This time I decided to get some inexpensive cabinets at IKEA. They have worked wonderfully so far. I'm still figuring out where I want everything, but for the most part things are all put away. I also took the time to do a LOT of purging during this transition - which helped quite a bit. I recommend a good purge at least once a year for all you crafters out there.

OK so on to a LOT of photos & 2 videos that give you a tour of the room. I hope I don't make you sick in these videos - it's a little hard to crawl around with a camera & a big giant pregnant belly ;)

Here is the room when you walk up the stairs - it's a shared space of guest bedroom & my crafting space:

row of Jetmax storage cubes...

Items stored on top of storage cubes (please watch video for full description)

Cardstock & paper, etc.

New crafting area - this is where I sit. All new cabinets & counter top.

Closer view of where I sit:

Ribbon, marker & other tool storage:

Laptop, Silhouette, etc.

Cardstock scrap storage drawers:

Drawers w/ inks & other supplies

Punch storage

Baskets to house clear blocks & adhesives

Spinning Desktop Organizer w/ all hand tools that are commonly used:

Lots of ribbon...

Spice jars holding lots of colorful buttons:

Cabinet w/ printer, scanner, cables & cords for electronics, etc.

Clear stamp storage

Another view of my new room:

Video Part ONE:

Video Part TWO:

Now onto some helpful links & info on where everything is from:

  • Cabinets & Countertop: IKEA
  • Towel Rod/Railings: all from IKEA. They are called "Bygel" rails. They are super inexpensive. You can see all things available in the Bygel collection here.
  • Wire ribbon baskets: IKEA - you can find them here.
  • Plastic storage containers: IKEA - you can find them here.
  • Button Jars: IKEA - you can find them here.
  • White JetMax Storage Cubes: Target or Michaels
  • Spinning desktop organizer: Making Memories Carousel
  • Plastic sleeves for storing clear stamps (on my Clip it Up): these are from Office Depot. See Jennifer McGuire's post about it here.
  • Plastic storage bin drawers (for my cardstock scraps): Target


I am sitting up here now enjoying the room as I type this. I love the room, the light and all the fresh new stuff in here. I've been working on some sewing today and I'm really just liking the new setup. Even the cat likes it - he's up here with me ;) I know that crafting will take a back seat this Spring, but I look forward to eventually being up here with our little one and getting creative. (Even if I don't get nearly as much done as I used to...!)

Phew! That was a really long post. Hopefully I answered most questions in the section above - if not, feel free to leave me a comment. I will try to get to them as soon as I can.

Thanks!

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I've been into sewing lately. I get  a case of crafting A.D.D. every now & then and I need something to distract me. This month it's sewing. It all started because I was getting tired of the way things looked under the tables in my craft room:

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Those drawers up there are where I store all of my cardstock scraps. I LOVE this system. It's a great way to utilize the space under the table (which is otherwise wasted). I can easily pull these drawers out when I need to get to scraps (they come completely out of the unit which I really like). I sort mine by color. The only problem is that it looks messy (along w/ the other crapola I shove under there). I decided I wanted a way to cover it up so when I'm not accessing my scraps it looks more attractive.

Also, we have this trainwreck which was in desperate need of something to hide it (or blow it up entirely):

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God, I hate wires. I'm a gadget girl but I hate wires. Unfortunately the fact that I have so many gadgets creates quite the the predicament for me when I want things to look tidy. I decided to solve both of the above problems with fabric panels & some tension rods:

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All of my scraps are still nice & accessible when I need them. I just push away the fabric panel & open the drawers that I need. I bought the tension rods at Target for a few bucks each & they work GREAT. Such a cheap & easy solution.

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I found the fabric on sale at Joann's - I like the simplicity of the colors but the pattern adds some character. I think what we mostly need to emphasize here people is that I CAN SEW SQUARES!! I CAN SEW IN A SEMI-STRAIGHT LINE!!!

It's the little things I tell ya.

Anyway - next on my list is creating something to wrap around this table here to cover up this bad boy. (No, not the giant fat cat - look past until you see the bleeding eyesore of wires & dust bunnies.)

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Typical Max. Always in my shot. And while we are on the subject, can we discuss what is wrong with this picture below?? I mean really, how am I to learn how to sew with this giant furball always getting in my way?

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Hmmph. I suppose I will allow him to stay. After all, I did grab the camera & take photo upon photo of him lying there instead of shooing him off. And then I patted him on the head.

I promise to share this sewing project that Max is lying on once it's complete. It's super fun & easy to do.

Hope you are all enjoying the summer weather. It's been great so far up here in MA.

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Insides of cards

February 11, 2010

in Cards,Organization

another organizing tip...this one is pretty GREEN! I don't know about you...but when I make cards, I never really do anything with the inside. I make the card - photograph it - then file it away. (If I'm not giving it to someone). So what happens is I get to a point where I'd like to sell some of my cards...and err - I have a GIANT stack of cards that all need insides. UGH. To make my life easier, I've decided to keep a stack of "card insides" all cut & ready to go. Maybe this will influence me to do the inside of the card right away from now on? So here's what I've done: Normally, the cards I make are 5.5" x 4.25" (or vice versa) - which means the inserts need to be 5.25" x 4". This allows them to nest nicely inside the card. So, here's my GREEN part: The company I worked for recently moved & was cleaning out a bunch of supplies. They found that they had A LOT of these page dividers left from books that they had created. (basically they bought the dividers with letters A-Z and they only usually needed to use half of the alphabet...so they always had like K-Z leftover.) They were going to toss them - because really, what could they do with them? Then someone asked me if I could make use of them, seeing as how they were plain white cardstock. (pretty decent white CS, they just had these tabs attached.)

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The thing was, the cardstock wasn't quite the quality I need for stamping purposes. (I'm picky!) So I thought a GREAT way to re-use this paper would be to cut those tabs off and use them for my "insides". I decided that I would do these in batches & just keep a whole pile of "card insides" sitting in a little box - ready for me to use.

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Almost all the cards I make have a colored cardstock for their base, which is why I always like to add a white insert into them - much easier to write on - easier to read, etc. Sometimes I stamp a sentiment, sometimes I leave them blank. If the outside of the card has rounded corners, I will also round the corners of the insert so that it nests nicely.

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The box that I'm using here is nothing glamorous...you might recognize it from my Halloween & Christmas goodies during Craft Fair season. It's just an unfinished wooden purse from AC Moore. These fit inside nicely. I had to add a label, so I thought why not jazz it up with some cute PTI ribbon, stamps & cardstock? :)

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Now, there are LOTS more ways that I can re-use this paper. And I plan to. Trust me, I have BOXES of it just stacked away - waiting to be used. I plan on using it for filler pages in the custom books that I make using my Bind-It-All. At the very least, I can use it as scrap paper when I need to.

It feels good to be finding another use for all of this cardstock. I like to try & get the most out of the materials & supplies that I buy - but it's even better when you can re-purpose something that you got for free, or relatively cheap.

I hope this inspires some of you to get more creative in the materials you use. Anyone else have any tips on this stuff? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear!

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WARNING: the contents of this blog posting are somewhat scary. Yikes. This weekend I knew I had to start tackling my re-organization project. See, there's a guest bedroom off my craft room - it's a great room. The problem is that it's been sort of a catch all for my crafting CRAP. In other words: this past season on Craft Fair Madness was NOT kind to this room. LOTS of things were dumped here. Various unfinished craft projects, craft mistakes & disasters....unused boxes...shipping boxes that I *might* use someday...random unused craft materials, etc. This shelf was the worst. It was where most EVERYTHING got thrown. To add to the madness, I still had Christmas wrapping paper & accessories sitting in this room - just hadn't gotten around to lugging them back up to the attic. ARGH. So this weekend I tackled the beast:

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*shudders*

So, what did I do? Well, here are a few tips that I can pass along from my weekend:

  • THROW THINGS OUT. Seriously. Are you going to use that? Have you touched it in the last 6 months? Take a long hard look at that crafting project that you THOUGHT you could salvage. Chances are you should cut your losses & move on - it will allow for a new spiffy project to make it's way into your crafting life... ;)
  • Boxes - do you really need them? I was saving some empty boxes for potential shipping purposes. But really - all they do is take up LOTS of space - and looks really ugly. The Post Office has boxes - so why am I saving these?
  • Wasted space: certain items were taking up silly amounts of space - simply because I didn't have them sorted properly. I took all of my "Craft Fair" type alterables & materials & placed them all together. I grouped them into baskets & boxes so they are all in one place. Now I know what I have - and they are easy to find. (ex: wooden purses, little clay pots, chipboard books, etc.)
  • Sell old items you no longer use. I have a whole box full of stamps & other crafty tools that I no longer use. They were great - but I'm ready to make room for more new stuff. I hope to post them on here soon so if any of you are interested in a good deal on stamps - check back soon! :)
The above strategy produced A LOT of trash. This is just a small sampling...

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And after all that...I give you...the newly organized shelf that I so bravely tackled:

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TA DA!!! - I'm so proud!

I really hope to keep it this way. You do not want to even know how many bags of crap I really had. There was a lot more: so much more that we couldn't fit it all in this weeks outgoing trash. LOL. (in my defense - what started out as my one shelf turned into my shelf, plus the closet...plus the computer desk, plus another closet....Pete got into it too!)

So there you have it. I cannot believe I'm actually showing these photos on my blog - but at the same time I want you to know that I'm a real person & my craft space does NOT always look clean (in fact, clean is pretty rare). I don't think it needs to always be 100% clean - but it does help to have some organization.

While we're on the topic - I thought I'd share this again. I twittered about it last week but wanted to post here too in case you missed it. The lovely ladies over at the Crafty Storage Blog have a great thing going. They feature all kinds of creative rooms & ideas. I've seen some really neat things on there. They were kind enough to feature my space last week. Be sure to check them out & leave 'em some love! (my FAVE was this idea that I saw HERE.)

thanks for stopping by!!

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so if you've been following me long enough you might remember that last year around this time I revamped my craft room & did some major organizing. Well, I'm back at it again...! There is just something about the lull after the Holidays, the cold weather, and mostly all the crap that has been accumulating over the past year that gives me the itch to get things straightened out. I started doing some of it this weekend, and plan to take most of the weekends over the winter to continue working on getting things in order. (that is, if I don't get distracted & start making stuff instead...which usually happens by the way...haha) So I thought I'd share some of what I accomplished this weekend. My Mom got me the Clip it Up for a Christmas Gift which was awesome! I love that it keeps everything out in plain view for me to use so that I won't forget I have it. Here is a photo of what mine started to look like today as I assembled...

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Ooohhh...what's that? You noticed all my new Hero Arts goodies hanging there? Yep, I told ya I had a good Christmas! Not only that, but I was able to hit up one of my favorite Local Scrapbook Stores this weekend. They have almost everything from the new Hero Arts 2010 catalog so I got LOTS more during my visit. The name of the store is Absolutely Everything...and oh my, can I just say - they really DO have absolutely everything!?!? Stamps, paper, tools, every kind of ink, spray, powder, glitter & embossing stuff you could imagine. I had to pull myself away. Soo good though. I def .will be going back soon - if you live in the area I encourage you to check them out. In the meantime, the above abundance of HA stamps should keep be busy...

OK back to my organizing from this weekend. I had some of these lying around from Staples. Nothing special...just boring coupon holders.

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I thought I would jazz them up a little bit & use them to store photos that I have not scrapbooked yet.

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The paper & embellishments are from October Afternoon. I cut the title out with my Cricut using the Sesame Street Sunny Day Font. So quick & super simple. I was sure to glue the heck out of everything I put on this so that it endures all the wear & tear.

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Here is another one I made, this time for actual coupons...using more October Afternoon paper & stickers.

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I hope this inspires those of you looking for ideas on organization. I will try & share more in the coming weeks as I clean up some more. I plan on getting rid of some old stamps & supplies I no longer use - I will probably post them for sale here on the blog so be sure to check back...thanks!

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