Craft Challenge: Week Eight Results

Week 8: Organize Your Stuff

This was another “No Brainer” week for me.  You see, this week we’re supposed to organize all of our unfinished scrapping projects.  Well, I don’t have any.  I don’t have any unfinished card projects either, so there was nothing to organize.

I did decide that if I ever do have UFOs, I’m going with this kind of idea.

So, that was easy.

Onto the next.

Craft Challenge: Week Seven Results

Week 7:  Ideas

Well, this was the easiest week for me.

1.  I have no idea books.

2.  I don’t intend to buy any.

3.  What I do have in the way of ideas is this handy little thing called Google.



Craft Challenge: Week Six Results

Week 6- Photos

Wow, this one was overwhelming and easy at the same time.  Overwhelming, because when you have 20 years of photos, you’re talking about a daunting task.  Easy because the MAIN job of this week’s thing is to pick a system and set it up.  I guess we’re supposed to work on it whenever we don’t spend the whole week doing our other stuff.  Ok, I can handle that.

One thing I love about this organizational challenge are all the fabulous links she has to amazing products.  So, looking for photo storage ideas before I made my decision, I start looking at her suggestions.  What I found, to my surprise, is that I was drawn to things I NEVER expected.  For example, these great Sailcloth Storage boxes.  I tend to want COLOR or white.  Instead, I drool over these natural colored boxes.  What’s with that?

I also loved these from the Margo Storage Collection.  Aren’t they just yummy?  I love that Taupe, that Celery, and that Steel.  The Steel would match my bedroom well, but I’ve been planning on ACCENTS, not coordinates.  OY.  Do I want my photo storage to pop in my room or to blend?  I don’t know.  I thought I wanted a pop but…

This was a fascinating idea.  I’m not sure it’s what I want, but boy, I am seriously considering it.  I will just keep thinking.  Kwim?

The Photo Dock by Memory Dock holds an awful lot of pictures and organizes them really well.  What I do not like are the colors.  While the lovely sailcloth above grabbed me and I LOVED the color, the “warm sand” here just makes me think, “Meh.”  I love the grape but it doesn’t match anything, and the meadow is ick for me.  I happen not to like black AT ALL for decor in my room, so I’m sayin’, “No thanks” to this idea I think.  Drat.  The only thing that will make me change my mind is if I can figure out how to spray paint it or decoupage it or something.

Creative Memories had a “Power Sort” product that was basic, simple, and reasonably attractive, but it is just your basic box and dividers– and the box was black.  No thanks.   Cropper Hopper had a plastic option.  Um, not my thing.  I LOVE plastic… I’m not one who has eradicated it from my life– I enjoy it in a million and one ways.  Just not this one.  Another “No Thanks” option was an expandable “accordion” folder kind of thing.  Nah.  I LOVED these hardwood boxes, but they aren’t what I am willing to spend and are not the look I’m going for in my bedroom.  So, they got nixed too.  Of course, there was a basic simple solution– regular photo albums.  Just plop your pictures in until you’re ready to scrap them puppies.  It’s easy to use it too.  Simply grab the album, flip through the pages, and grab the pictures you want, and make your page.  They’re easy to enjoy until they get scrapped, and at least you can have the mental feeling of “hey, all my pictures are in albums!!!”  Furthermore, you don’t even have to put them in the albums in order.  Just put them into books willy nilly, and then with another empty one, slowly organize at your leisure.  🙂

Can you guess which option I chose?  Wanna know why?  Well, because that’s what I did a few years ago!  I got tired of seeing my pictures in zip lock bags, I popped them in photo albums.  At least we could enjoy them even if they weren’t chronological.  Just sayin’.

Now, the next thing “Wookiemouse” says to do is to sort.  I’m not sure I’m going to.  I might later, but for today, I’m going to leave it as it is.  Why?  Well, the fact is, I’m not a scrapper– not primarily.  I do intend to scrap my photos– it’s just not my priority like it is for people doing this challenge for their “scrap space”.

Digitally speaking, she offers several options to organize your photos.  She just didn’t suggest the one I own already.  Snort.  I got, on the advice of a digital scrapbook designer,  ACDSee.    I love the program and now I need to do something about it.  Having the program is great, but if you don’t USE it, it’s a waste of money.  I have about 1/4-1/3 of my scrapbook elements/papers/alphas etc organized.  I need to do more.  So, I think I’m going to dedicate one hour a week to it.  Seriously, there’s no reason not to just spend an hour organizing.  So, that’s my goal.  I’m thinking Sunday nights after everyone goes to bed.  Close the browser, turn off the messenger, and work for one solid hour.  It’s the idea anyway.  Her suggestions for how to organize your photos and get the job done are excellent.  Read her article.  This isn’t a rewrite, it’s a “what I’m doing with what she says,” so head on over and see what’s up!

Now, the main thing she has you do first is choose whether you want to organize chronologically or by subject.  I’m (in the digital program anyway) going for the chronological plan.  I just think it’s more how I think.

She also makes a big pitch for Stacy Jullian’s Library of Memories plan.  Well, I did some research and I can’t find anyway to do her online class, but hey.  I tried.  I did find this book, Photo Freedom.  I may buy a copy.  We’ll see.  If you know of another book she might mean, do let me know.  I figure if I’m going to do this, I might as well do it right.  Just sayin’.

Just a thought on her opinion on 3 ring binders.  While I agree that it’s easier to shuffle etc… for people like me who need to see accomplishment… using a “bound” version is really much nicer for us.  All those EMPTY slots really give us a boost to keep going when it seems like there’s no end in sight.  The fact is, as long as we’re alive, there IS no end.  So, for people like us, we need to see the “empty sink” sometimes before it gets refilled with dishes from the next meal.  Just sayin’.

There you have it.  Week Six.  Thud.

Craft Challenge: Week Five Results

Week 5–  Scrap Paper

First, I want to tell you all to pick yourselves up off the floor and give me a bit of a break.  We had two weddings, clothes to procure, we were out of town for one of them, I got sick… things happen.  Deal.  Just because someone has to put something on the back burner now and then doesn’t mean they aren’t going to finish.  It’s called a delay.  (So those who read my housewife workout blog, I’m STILL tryin’ to work it off.  Just sayin’.)

Well, I didn’t think I had much scrap paper to worry about.  I envisioned myself with one or two of these puppies…  I liked the folksy look, the bright cheerfulness, and, of course, the tote-ability.  In my workspace, it’s essential.  See what I mean?  Perfect right?  Yeah.  One problem.

I had more scrap paper than I thought.  You see, I decided to follow “Wookiemouse”‘s definition of scrap as being anything under 12×12.  So, all my 8.5 x 11” paper needed to go in here.

So, I ended up with something not quite so cute.  Enter, “The Lug”.

If you don’t know what a “lug” is, just look at this thing.  It’s black, it’s boring, and it has no appeal whatsoever.  Why did I buy it?  Well, because it will work.  Mine is kind of like the one on the right.  Except it’s all black.

I have lots of room for more stuff.  While I sorted scraps, I also cut any pieces I could into strips for cards.  It’s great.  If it used to be 12×12, I cut all the cards I could for it (usually only one, but a couple of times 2 when only a tiny piece was gone from one) and voila!  Yippie!

Now I actually want to make something.  I would too except for one thing.  Gulp.  I bought more stuff that needs to be considered.

So now I only have to decide what to do with “scraps” like these.  I don’t have a lot but I don’t know what to consider them.  Are they embellishments, scraps… what?  Things like this keep me awake at night.  Things like

Watercolor paper squares like this from Stampin’ Up!

And these little mini notes also from Stampin’ Up!

Well, and these beauties from… well…  Stampin’ Up!

Are these scraps?  Are these embellishments?  Did I succeed in my quest for finishing week 5 or am I still workin’ on it?   Just curious.  Next week…  Week 6.  (Brilliant observation of mine, isn’t it?)  Photos.  Oh. Joy.

Craft Challenge: Week Four Results

Week 4- Paper

Erm.. yeah.  See, remember, I don’t have a huge paper craft mess yet.  I’ve just gotten started in this gig, so we’re good, right?  Yeah.  Well, see this picture…

One thing I learned in this process is that those drawers and I don’t mix.  Nope.  No way, no how.  Ain’t happenin’.  You see, in those drawers, I have to pull everything out, look at it, think about it, and then put it all back.  It’s not exactly conducive to efficient crafting.  Sure, it’s easy to put away… but it’s horrible to get out.  The point isn’t to hoard paper– it’s to use it for cryin’ out loud! BTW… if you have a paper collection that is collecting dust, reread that italicized sentence again.  Once a week if necessary!

So, those drawers had to give up the paper.  That’s good, because I’m thinkin’ that’d be a GREAT spot for… yep, you guessed it (work with me here)… RUBBER STAMPS!  YIPPEE!

Yes, you too can have an amazing rubber stamp collection in nice little drawers designed for paper!

So, what did I put my paper in instead of those drawers?  Well, first I took all paper (including the stupid Martha Stewart ones with the over sized pads that didn’t fit in drawers) and tore them all out of any books, packaging, etc and separated by colors and patterns

I had the following color sets:

  • Pink/Red
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Purple
  • White/Tan/Yellows/Black
  • Mixed

I separated all the printed first and put them into stacks.  Then I separated the solids and put them behind the printed in each color set.  Now I was ready to put them in my new container.  Here’s the funny part.  Sunday night, I didn’t do my usual prepare for this week’s crafting.  Dumb move.  I was knee deep in formatting and editing my book and was too engrossed to think about the fact that Monday I was going to be where you can actually buy stuff for this kind of project.  So, I got down to the LA area and had a wealth of products at my fingertips… and didn’t know what this week’s challenge was.  I thought it was paper, but I wasn’t sure.  I looked at several options, but since I didn’t realize I was coming home to DO it… I didn’t buy anything.  Dumb.

So, today I opened up the challenge, checked out the job, and sighed.  Then, I got to work.  I moseyed over to Wal-Mart… nothing grabbed me.  Staples had lots of options, but nothing fit 12×12″ paper.  EEK.  Then, just as I was ready to give up, I found these things on the clearance rack!

There are three racks in each one.  I bought both of the ones that our Staples had and have begged my internet buddies to do a search at their stores to see if I can get two more.  Right now, my two are not packed to the gills, but they are reasonably full.  I want to have matching things for later if I get more.

Now, my room and such is all white.  That black isn’t going to cut it, so I need to figure out how to cover it.  What do you think?  How should I cover it?  Find contact paper?  Paper mache?  Cloth?  Any ideas out there?

Here is my paper in its new home.  I think it looks happy, don’t you?

Now, I have to figure out what to do with my 8.5 x 11″ paper.  I don’t have a lot now, but I am going to have more as I do more card making.

Any suggestions?

Now, all I have to do is make it pretty (cover it somehow– off to do research for ideas for that) and decide on the 8.5 x 11″ paper.  Since it’ll likely be mostly solids, I’m seriously considering putting it in an accordion file and leave it at that.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, share your ideas.  All I know is that I want VERTICAL storage.  Horizontal and I don’t match.

Craft Challenge Week Two Results

Week Two– Brainstorming

Ok, so the first thing she does in week two is gets you thinking about your “dream space”.  What would you have if you could have anything in the world?

This was an eye-opener for me.  Once upon a time, my dream space would have been a 12×14 or 13×17 room that was ALL mine, possibly detached from the house, that no one but me ever went in.  Then I got that dream space sort of and I discovered that I do not like being separate from where my children are.  As much as I CRAVE being alone much of the time, I don’t crave the negative things that crop up in my children’s behavior and habits when my eyes aren’t on them.  So, not now, no.  Someday.  Maybe.

What I actually want now is highly organized space that is pretty.  Something that doesn’t look utilitarian when I am not there.  I want to pack as much as possible into in as small a space as possible without creating a situation that looks perfect when all put away but if you move one thing, it creates chaos.  I like white painted wood with fabric.  I also like a little splash of color which might mean that my thread drawer gets painted red instead of white.  I have to think about that.  I keep trying to decide what I want most.  I like parts of this

But honestly, what seems to grab me are the cubbie/basket combinations.  Whatever I do, my sewing/crafting corner is in one corner of my bedroom.  I have another wall I can get some from, but not much.  One thing that I really appreciated was her mentioning if I craft standing up or sitting down.  I would have tried, automatically, to design a sit-down space.  It’s what naturally comes to mind, but you know what?  I like to do my paper crafting half-standing.  That was a stunning revelation to me.  Once I saw island height work spaces in several craft rooms, I realized that when I made tags for the gifts at Christmas, I did it sitting at a bar stool, half standing, and I liked it.  You see, I have a gateleg craft table in my bedroom that usually stands against one wall at only a little over a foot wide.  However, lift a large leaf and pull out the “gates” for legs, and voila.  One medium sized table.  With just a flick of a wrist and a jerk of the table and I can have a very long space to work on if I choose.  It looks like this

However, mine is not red, but boring white laminate.  You can learn more about this table at Rowecraft. I can’t tell by the picture of that one, but mine is waist high like a counter top.

The next thing you do after you envision yourself, is get your list from last week’s scrap/card making and see how things would be in this room.

This is my list from last week with expanded notations based upon if I was doing things from my dream space rather than my actual space.

What works–

I have stuff to do it.

I could find my

  • pens———–Yes, I could find these last week, but honestly, I’d rather have had them stand out more.  It worked and worked well, but it would be nicer if I could just grab a container and go rather than unpack a whole box.  I had each of my boxes lined up on the end of my bed last week and it was easy to grab what I needed but it did all have to be repacked when I was done.  So, for colored pencils, markers, pens, etc, I would prefer to have them in a bucket– even if I have to look at it.
  • stickers———Ok, I don’t use stickers often, but if I could have a perfect system for them, I’d want them in a binder in sleeves so I could just flip through the binder, grab the sheet out of the sleeve, and move along to the next.  A binder could be covered in fabric, oilcloth, or decoupaged for fun and prettiness.
  • glue/tape——— I think this is fine as it is.  I just have a box, but I don’t use a ton of different glue tape things and they all fit in the box easily so I can just dump and go when I’m done.  Of course, a pretty basket would be more fun, but hey.   I could take or leave how I have it now.  I’m good either way.
  • punches———– The only change I’d make is put a sample of each one on the shoe bag that holds them.  Otherwise, we’re good.
  • stamps———– Now this… let’s just say I consider it frustrating as all get out and love it at the same time.  It works.  It works well.  Again, a box, this one 12×12″ and 3 or 4″ tall, packed with the goods.  Hard to put away but I’m anal enough about this stuff that I do it.  Definitely.  I’d love two things.  First, another binder or two for acrylic stamps.  It could sit with the sticker binder.  As for rubber stamps, I don’t know.  Honestly, I just don’t know.  Man, dream speaking, I’d buy printers trays and lay them out in those or something.  Cool stuff.
  • ink———- Well, if they didn’t have to be stored flat, I’d love a basket where they stood on end and I flipped through them like CDs.  Alas, it doesn’t work that way.  Right now, they’re in a box, it works, but man, my DREAM idea would be to have a mini cabinet with a door, where you open, pull out the color du jour, and voila.  Done.  As it is, they work great in the box I have, but I do have to lay them out on the table to find the one I want.  Not a big nuisance, but if I’m dreaming, I’d change it.

What I couldn’t find/use were

  • photos———- Right now, my photos are in one of two places.  They’re either inserted willy nilly into regular albums or are sitting in zip lock baggies.  I’d LIKE to have some kind of order so I could pull out a photo box, flip through it, and voila.  Even better, I’d LOVE to, while watching movies or something, sort them into page ideas so I can store them with dividers.  That way I pull out a group of pics and know that if I scrap those, they go together.  voila.  Done.  Next?  If I had my dream room, in one of those cubbies I showed in the link up there, I’d have a few photo boxes, labeled by year or subject (I’m thinking subject with year on the back of the photo), and ready to pull out and have at it.
  • paper————- It’s funny, I tried thinking of a dozen things, and they all had charms.  every sheet in a page protector in a binder would be nice but come on, I’d never keep it up.  But, that’d be my FIRST choice.   If the room came with an organizer that kept things how I like them, sure!  Perfect.  However, it doesn’t work that way so it ain’t happenin’.  I have drawers, but I hate going through them (and they’re shallow drawers! Hmmmm note to self:  Might be good for stamps though! What I finally kept coming back to was an accordion type folder that would let me flip through each page etc. I would also love to have lots of cards precut so I can grab a basic card and then grab scraps or coordinating paper to go with it.  I think maybe scraps is the idea for my paper thing.  I could easily sort scraps into that.   So, that’s what I’m thinking is best for me.  Not my idea, but realistic.  I’m never going to keep up the ideal.  Snort.
  • pages to work ON———– I don’t have a preferred album.  I’ve always used Creative Memories, and they just don’t impress me anymore.  After years of almost zero use (we don’t look at them often because the first few times they felt flimsy), the page protectors fall apart, the binding feels loose, and I hate that cardboard spine cover thing.  It annoys me to no end.  So, I didn’t HAVE an album or pages to draw from but it was a problem so I wrote it down.  I think I’d want pages in one of those drawers– maybe where the paper used to go.  That’d be an easy peasy way to grab pages and go.  I’d also want a cubby with finished and in progress albums so I could pull it out and know if I’m on a two page layout situation or a one page beginning/end kind of thing.    I’d LOVE suggestions for albums– any but Creative Memories.  I am simply not interested in theirs.
  • embellishments——– Ok, so I have embellishments everywhere.   Little glass jars, little lunch boxes, little paint cans covered in pretty paper, little metal tins, yeah… you get the picture.  The problem is, I like that set up from an aesthetic point of  view.  So, I need a balance of pretty and easy to find.  I’d like to know exactly where they are and it be easy to grab and put away.  I think maybe if I simply had a photo of the embellishment containers with what is in it written on the photo so I could glance at the book and reach for the right container, before long,  I wouldn’t even need the picture.
  • Tools——- last week, I didn’t put this down because I didn’t try/need to use them.  However, I need a place for my heat gun, all embossing stuff, die cuts, machine, etc.  I really see me using a basket for die cuts and flip through like a CD holder.  Grab what I want and go.  Ideally, each type of tool would have its own basket that sat on a shelf.  I grab said basket (I’d love to find a really cute labeling system for these baskets so that when my daughters use them, it’s easy for them to put things away again), get to work and then put back on the shelf.

A few other ideas that I have are new things.  Right now, if I get something new, it’s a pain and a half because I’m liable to lose it before I find a home for it.  So, one of the number one things I want is to have room for new things.  I see it as a two part solution.

  1. I need to make sure I don’t max out my space.  I need my ink box, for example, to have room for more ink.  I need more room in stamp storage, ribbon storage, or whatever for those things when I get new stuff.
  2. I also need a place to put new things when I get them until I have time to put them away.  I’m learning that this might be a good idea for a lot of my home.  For example, if I buy Lorna new unders, I don’t give them to her until she brings me all of her old ones.  So, while she gathers them up from laundry and drawers, I need a place for those unders that isn’t lying on the table.  My decor style isn’t early unmentionables.  Just sayin’.  The same is true of a new stamp set or die for die cuts.

I’m supposed to take a picture of my space, but my husband is asleep so I’ll have to do it tomorrow.  This is what my space looks like when I am on top of the clutter.

For more pictures, see the rest here. There, week two is done.  Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Craft Challenge: Week One Results

Ok, so this week I was supposed to make a page layout.  Well, I don’t paper scrap at all anymore so technically, nothing worked.  I don’t have pictures organized in any way that I could find them if I wanted to.  Furthermore, I don’t even own a scrapbook with pages etc.  I did try to “pretend” to do a page though and I made a card.   Here are my lists.

Scrapbooking/Card Making

What works–

I have stuff to do it.

I could find my

  • pens
  • stickers
  • glue/tape
  • punches
  • stamps
  • ink

What I couldn’t find/use were

  • photos
  • paper
  • pages to work ON
  • embellishments

So there you have it!  Week one done.  Whether I do more or not will depend on how the week goes.  I’m working on other things this week too, soooooooooooooooo

Craft Challenge~

So, I was trying to avoid work tonight and happened across this blog

She has twenty-nine (that’s 29!!!!) weeks of scrapbook supply organization.  I don’t know if I’ll need every single week, but that’s ok, that week can either be a week off OR… I get to move along faster.  I assume some weeks will take more time and others less, but hey, that’s good.  In the process, I’m thinking that it’ll be fun to actually use things that I have once I have an easier time knowing how to find everything.  So, I’m going to try it.  I may find out that it’s not for me after all, but it’s pretty impressive.

First, I’m going to list every post about it here so that I have my own ready reference.  My intention is to blog about my success or failure for each week’s task as well.  Just because I can.  Who knows if I’ll actually do it.  I find that every time I think I’ll start a blog series, I fail.  So, I’ve been trying to create the series FIRST and then start posting.  Yeah, you’ve seen how successful that is too.  But hey, I’m going to try.

Craft Organization Challenge


Week 1–  Space Audit

Week 2–  Brainstorming

Week 3–  Start Small or Go for Broke

Week 3–  Bonus for Overhaulers

Week 4- Paper

Week 5- Scrap Paper

Week 6– Photo Organization

Week 7– Ideas

Week 8– Projects and UFOs

Week 9- Embellishments

Week 10–  Alphas

Week 11– Stickers & Rub-ons

Week 12– Ribbons & Fibers

Week 13–  Stamps

Week 14– Cropping Supplies (This is what she’s calling “your take it with you when you work with friends” kit)

Week 15– Ink Pads & Embossing Supplies

Week 16–  Paints, Glitters, & Stickles (whatever that is)

Week 17– Punches

Week 18–  Tools

Week 19– Chipboard

Week 20– Die Cuts

Week 21– Pens & Pencils

Week 22– Dies (no, this isn’t what happens to you if you do all this!)

Week 23–  Templates

Week 24– Memorabilia

Week 25– Negatives

Week 26– Two Part Week.  (1) How are you going to keep it clean and (2) Organizing Albums

Week 27– Fonts

Week 28–  Card Storage

Week 29–  Make it Pretty

One thing she puts in every single post is her list of “rules of organization.”  I thought they were excellent so I’m sharing them now.  Please note, these rules belong to the brilliant blogger at “My Love Affair with the Label Maker” and not mine.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don’t be too specific – your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1″ high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it’s something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don’t stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception – rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can – almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE – FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand – a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn’t have a dedicated purpose in your space!
I figured out (after going through the entire thing) that this blog is ONLY about this challenge so I can’t tell you that there are any great other things there, but maybe she’ll come along and add other fun stuff for us organizational junkies.

The whole thing has me spinning wondering if I could do something similar with my sewing gear.  If I do it, I’ll let you know.