Tuesday, May 22, 2007
1. Basic Grey - Latest & Greatest
We ended up being 20 minutes late to this class so we had already missed TWO layouts. The three LOs were pretty cute. I glued down half of two of them until I decided that I really wanted to do my own thing. The kits were cute though, and I loved that it was BG paper... the reason I took the class. Really no new techniques, but a few pointers so that was nice! All in all, a pretty good class.
2. Shop Your Stash!
My first class with Brittany from CK. She was an excellent teacher; best I had at CK, actually. She felt so comfortable and really knew what she was talking about. Can't say enough good things about her! This class had GREAT pointers, but the unfortunate thing was that we had to memorize all the ideas for using our stash. They didn't print out a list. She just talked about them as we made our accordion mini-books so it was pretty tough to take it all in. The mini-book was pretty cute (black with some bright summer colors), and I was able to grab a pencil and jot down some ideas on the back of my driving directions. (I'm so resourceful! Tee hee.) I wish I could have gotten all the ideas though! *Note to self: Next year, have a small notebook and pencil handy for each class!*
3. LuCKy Girl
My second class with Brittany. We made a mini-book in a CD tin for this class, and I LOVED the papers!! I can't wait to finish this project! She wanted us to make a book with things that made us feel happy, lucky and blessed. She really encouraged us to "sway" from the example book and be creative, and I think that's what I liked best about her teaching style.
4. It's a Girl Thing
These Rusty Pickle papers were adorable!! Shaina and I took this class together (though we didn't get to sit together), and we just had so much fun with this! It was probably the most challenging class for me because there were instructions on putting it together, and since I'm not proficient at making albums in the shapes of handbags, I needed to listen! LOL. I loved that the papers were double-sided so it gave us room to go against the crowd. We didn't have time to decorate the pages, but I didn't mind. I'll have so much fun with this in the coming months! The teacher was great... very witty, laid back, and just downright cool. Her name escapes me for the moment, but she was great. (We we wearing the same RP shirt too!)
5. Shabby Chic Times Three!
Probably my least favorite class, but it had the CUTEST papers!! They were by... umm... shoot! I can't remember! Well, I'll have to find out. (Melissa Frances!) Anyway, these vintage children. Too cute! We traced with this very interesting hexagon thingy. The cutting tool was neat... just a needle on the end of a stick. We wanted to buy some later, but we were out of cash and far from an ATM. Next year! And I MUST get the pack of these papers. They are just too cute. I didn't put the three LOs together yet because they were VERY simple and basic (almost CM style) so I'll have to mix some of my products in and figure out what I'm doing with it. But cute papers. :D
6. 10 Things Every Scrapbooker Should Know
My third and final class from Brittany of CK. This was probably my favorite class. The project was cute (though not my favorite of all), but it gave SO much room to do your own thing. Like I said, I love Brittany's teaching style... or... way of thinking when it comes to "creating" scrap projects. She encouraged us to be our own artist and "do our own thing," which I loved!! I thought more teachers needed to have that philosophy. We learned a great technique... layering punched flowers and curving up the edges for a 3-D look. It looks amazing! And I'll probably do it all the time now. So glad I have the punch we used in class! I also went to Brittany afterward to introduce myself and let her know how fabulous her classes were. Shaina was with me, and she enjoyed meeting her as well. I let Brittany know that someday... I hope to work for CK or SS. :D
7. How Do I Love Thee...
This teacher seemed like she had never taught before. Granted, she *did* say that this was her first time teaching at CKC, but supposedly... teaches at her own scrapbook store. Basically, the class went like this: She handed out the kits and then said, "Let me know if you have any questions!" Now to me... that's not a *class*. That's a place you go to buy a page kit. And if I just wanted a page kit, I would have chosen one from from the Vendor Faire. But I don't buy page kits because I really like to do my own thing. So... that's what I did with what she gave me. The kit was cute. Shaina hated her class during the same block, and she wished she would have gone to this one instead. The kit *is* cute, and I'm kinda excited to put it together, but I wish I would have seen something interesting or new or different in that class. Oh well.
All in all, some good classes. Next year, we've decided that it would be better to maybe take only two or three classes and use the rest of the money to buy stuff or stay the third night. It was nice to take a bunch of classes though... just to see how they are and stuff. We had a great time!
So... I had a FABULOUS time at CKC. I feel terrible that Kristin didn't enjoy herself, and I feel partly responsible. Shaina and I planned to get there around 8:30, but I only got four hours of sleep so it was SO hard to get out of there on time. (I wanted to sleep as long as possible because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep again until after midnight [I was right]).
So I'm so bummed that we didn't get to spend more time with her. Not to mention, I was SO not feeling well: tired, moody, hips hurting (even with my cane)... so poor Kristin! I feel bad for her that she had to be with "Not-So-Fun Reyanna." :D My spirits were much higher the next day once I got some sleep!
Shaina and I took three classes the 1st day and four the 2nd day. They were great classes. They did go SUPER fast, but I didn't mind all that much. After the first class, I totally expected it so I tried to read ahead to at least see what the heck we would be doing. LOL.
I pretty much liked everything we did in the classes. The last class I had, the teacher was not what I expected (she just handed our kits to us and said, "Let me know if you have any questions"). It was strange! No new techniques or new info/pointers... nothing! Weird. Kit was cute though. It had a lot of room to be creative and not follow the instructions... I liked that! There was one other class... I didn't like the the technique or LOs, but I really liked the papers so I was happy. :D
All the classes, I really wanted to do my "own thing" in regards to the project. Some left little room to be creative, but I found it challenging (in a good way!) to do something different from the rest of the group. I didn't want to have the same project as 50 other women, you know?! So... once I *finish* all my projects... LOL... I'll take pics and let you all see.
The Vendor Faire was AWESOME! Yes, VERY overwhelming as Kristin said, but we got used to it by the 2nd day. (And I was able to go back and get Kristin the things she wanted, thank goodness.) I took pics of everything I bought! (Love the cute AMM bag!)
The group crops were awesome! I had heard people asking, "is it worth the price?" OH YES!! You get TONS of stuff (the pic without the bag) as you walk in the door, PLUS they have giveaways each night. I won a Card Creations idea book the 2nd night. Shaina won two class giveaways... the lucky duck! And it was so fun to be in the room with about 200 other women... all scrapping away. We met these awesome ladies (one was in her fifties, the other in her early forties) on the first night. They were so fun!
I plan to do LOs of the trip, and it will be VERY detailed so that I don't forget ANYTHING! LOL. I want to remember what I did and didn't like so I can plan better for next year. But it was awesome, and being with Shaina the whole time just made it all the more special. We also got to hang out in the hot tub, which was heavenly. We hope to stay all three nights next year. :D
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Well, we're nearing the end. Some of you may already be finished organizing your scrap spaces, and they're now beautiful works of art. I know we dropped some along the way... LOL. Perhaps every now and then, we'll have a "preventative maintenance" challenge! LOL. Or perhaps we can do a pretty-up-your-space challenge. LOL. I know that I kinda want a new theme... I know, I know, strange. ;-)
So here is what we have left...
Distressing Tools (file set, sanders, etc)
Well, we're nearing the end of the challenge. We only have "Extras" left. That means stamps, mists, cards, Stickles, bookmarks, mini albums, etc... pretty much things you used to "alter" other stuff (or the altering items... I guess we can split that into two sections if you wanted...). BUT we won't be doing that for these next two weeks.
I was asked by Wendy Smedley to do a Q&A for her organization class at BPS. I spent A LOT of time on this (posted at my blog), and I decided it was all pretty useful for this challenge! So... go here to my blog to see it.
I have TONS of suggestions for storage solutions, plus photos of my own space. And on the SC blog this last week, there were TONS of ideas!
What are your favorite storage solutions?
What have you been using so far?
Go down your list (embellishments, trimmer, pens, papers, etc), type them up here, and let us know!
Did you come up with other ideas you decided not to use? Let us know!
Are you stuck?! Do you need *more* ideas for certain items? Ask us... we'll brainstorm and come up with something!
Share your ideas and solutions with us! I can't wait to see! :)
**Also, in the next two weeks... once a day (if you can), go to the messiest area of your house (doesn't have to be your scrap space). Set a timer for 15 minutes, and put away as MUCH stuff as you can! Or... grab a box or laundry basket. Go through your house and pick up ONLY the items that go in to the kitchen. Or ONLY the items that go into the bedrooms. Then spend 15 minutes another day putting that stuff away. Wait till you see how much you get done in just 15 minutes! (The timer really does encourage you to go faster!)
Get the kids in on this! When I was a nanny, this was the kids' favorite game! LOL. They didn't want to clean up their toys, unless they were being timed! Super fun. :)
Are you ready to dive into your tools and essential staples?!
Hole Punches (hand held or Crop-A-Dile)
Die-Cut Machines and Accessories
(Feel free to add any others to your own list.)
Last week, in a desperate need to simplify my life, I decided to purge a WHOLE bunch of scrapbook supplies. I would have thought that wouldn't include too many of my tools, but I was wrong.
I think tools are one of the most difficult things for people to purge and organize. Well, they are for me! I think the thing that helped me most... is really sitting down (or you know, standing up) to figure out HOW much I use them, WHERE in my scrap space I use them, and WHEN (in my creative process) I use them. These questions helped me SO much went I went about organizing them.
I do know this about tools... the ones you use (or want to/like to use) ALL the time, should be at arm's reach, or you won't use them. So pretty much what I did... I got rid of all punches, shape cutters and deco scissors that I never use. If you keep these things thinking, "But what if I *DO* need this some day?!" you're going to just collect stuff you never use.
Seriously, if you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it. Give it to a friend (or your kids or your garage...), and if you need it, just borrow it from them. And then if you need one down the road, and you feel like you're *constantly* saying, "I wish I had this!" then go buy it. It feels good to purge things you don't use. :) (And you don't feel guilty for not having tools you're not using.) I promise... if you get rid of something you don't ever use, you won't miss it, and you'll forget you even had it! LOL.
Also, tools... are a bit cumbersome. Some are fun to play with, but sometimes you're just in this crafting "groove," and the thought of taking the time to get the tools out and actually use them is more work than you want. And... you may feel like it's not worth the work, so you just skip the tool usage.
THIS is why I keep all my tools in OPEN storage containers, baskets or bins. (Tools don't have to have any fancy storage.) This way, I can reach over and grab something quickly. I don't have to pull something off a shelf, open a box, etc. My heat gun with embossing powders (which are rarely used) do sit on a top shelf, but they're also in an open container, so if I do need them, everything is RIGHT there.
Right next to my Making Memories trimmer (that sits on a table), I keep my Creative Memories photo trimmer, other portable trimmers, my rulers, and a 3-hole punch... and they all sit in an open basket:
I've used this for the past two years, and it REALLY works for me. Grab and go. I don't have to open a drawer or open a box, and I LOVE that. Tools already take long enough to use... I don't need that extra time needed to actually GET to them. LOL.
The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker suggests doing a layout or two (like... right now) to decide which tools you use ALL the time. My suggestion is that while you are working on a layout, keep a shoebox (or container that size) on your table or down on the floor at your feet. As you use tools, throw them in that box while you're not using them. Then at the end of your creating process, look at what's in that box. What did you use? What did you use the most? And think about keeping all those things together from now on.
Simple Scrapbooks magazine's "Basic Tool Kit" includes:
portable paper trimmer
small scissors (I use Cutter Bee)
black archival journaling pen (I use Copic blows ZIG out of the water)
pencil (I use an archival safe one from Creative Memories)
art gum eraser
portable container to hold above tools (try these Stockholm boxes)
If you only use three main adhesives on every layout and maybe two journaling pens, it's okay to keep those in one place or in your portable container, and then keep the rest of all your pens and refill adhesives in a closed container up on a shelf some place. (I have a set of two drawers that stay up on a shelf. One drawer holds extra pens/markers/pencils and the other holds random adhesive I don't use much, plus refills for the ones I do.)
If you feel like you don't have enough space for your supplies and how you want to organize them, then think UP. Shelves above your workspace can create SO much more room. Once I installed shelving (elfa from The Container Store, which goes on sale 30% off - tomorrow through May 10th), I couldn't believe the extra space I created. Even if you have only one corner of a room, you can use shelves as high as your wall.
Underneath my work space (I'm a standing scrapper), I have a small basket that holds punches:
And then my deco scissors and Fiskars punches (which I use on just about every layout), are kept in this cute open container on a shelf right at eye level:
I keep my punches (organized by shape... one container for circles, one for squares, and one for flowers/hearts/stars/etc) in these canvas bins from The Container Store. Those bins are in a row on the floor under my computer space, but still within reach. I LOVE punches, and I use them ALL the time. I used to have them in a closed box on a shelf, but because punches are heavy, it was more practical for me to store them down low.
The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker also suggests keeping tools hidden away in drawers or closed boxes or closets... because they are usually unsightly and can be an eye-sore to a "pretty" scrap space. I just wanted to mention this as well because not everyone organizes and stores things the same, and this may be an option you'd prefer.
For more photos of my scrap space, visit the December archives of my blog. :)
I hope everyone has fun organizing their tools and staples! I can't wait to see what everyone does! If you post your photos to our Flickr group, let us know, so we can go see!
p.s. I've decided to post challenges on the 14th and 28th of each month from now on. I don't know about you ladies (and gents?), but those days are always bittersweet for me. I'm excited for Reveals, but then I have to wait 14 more days for the *next* Reveal. LOL! So I thought this would be fun... keep us busy for those 14 days, and also give us something to look forward to after the Reveals are Revealed.
CARDSTOCK and PATTERNED PAPER
When I first started scrapping, I didn't put too much thought into how I'd store my paper. I saw people using the wire cubes (from Target) with zip ties to create 1.5" shelves to horizontally store paper.
This system works for a lot of people. It's easy. It's cost effective, and you can see your paper. You can also buy cubes (Michaels, Jo-Ann, Container Store, etc) that have paper shelves already in them. Purchasing plastic and wire paper shelves (like stores use) are also great options.
I decided that I didn't like that the paper was "loose" just sitting on a shelf. I needed it contained. I was SO thrilled when I found the Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders. They are perfect for me.
First I just used one or two for all my cardstock, and separated the colors by 12x12 tabs that you could buy to fit in the holders. Then I found the Cropper Hopper Paper Pouches, and they worked great! One pouch for each color.
This system worked wonders for me. If I needed yellow cardstock, I'd grab the yellow Paper Pouch. I had all my yellow cardstock in that one Pouch, so I didn't have loose cardstock floating all over my desk.
I soon outgrew those and moved on to the Vertical Storage holders, again, one per color (well, orange and yellow share, as do black and brown. I keep my cardstock in ROY G BIV order (pink after red and brown/black/white to follow violet).
These are just a few ways to store your paper. You can also keep them in page protectors in an album. Or a 12x12 accordion file. Or a hanging file folder solution.
If you have minimal time to scrap or you often scrap away from home, picking out your cardstock each time you get new patterned paper may also be an idea. Some websites have cardstock colors already chosen (takes out the guess-work) that coordinate with certain lines. So when you go to a certain kit or paper collection, you'd have the coordinating cardstock already there with it!
You could also keep all your red patterned papers with all your red cardstock... instead of having patterned paper and cardstock separated.
In addition to sorting by color, you could also sort your cardstock by manufacturer and/or texture. There are SO many textures out there now. At CHA, I noticed American Crafts have added several new textures (including silk!), and I can't wait to try them!
Organizing and storing patterned paper can be tricky, but there are two ways that are most common: organizing by color and organizing by manufacturer. I have most my paper sorted by manufacturer, but there is just a bit that I sort by color (lesser known brands, ones I don't use often, or the "by the sheet" from the larger chain stores).
I love project folders or envelopes to store my patterned paper. They can hold scraps and anything else that coordinates, and I love that. What's even better is that usually the Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders can hold folders or envelopes.
These project folders or envelopes are great for holding full collections (like those from Basic Grey, for example) or whole kits (like Studio Calico!)... so everything is together, in one place when you need it.
You can store your patterned paper in the same container as your cardstock... or not. Vertically or horizontally. It amazes me how the possibilities are endless when it comes to storage. Everyone is different... try different things to see what works best for you!
Unless you throw away all your scraps (does anyone do that?!), you’ll need to decide on a storage solution for your scraps… both patterned paper and cardstock.
I love keeping all my patterned paper scraps in their original home. I keep them in small acid free envelopes inside Craft Keeper envelopes or project pouches. If they’re larger scraps, you can just drop them back in with the patterned paper.
Patterned paper scraps can be incorporated with your cardstock scraps, or you can keep them separate. You can separate them by color, or keep all the colors together.
Accordion files work great for organizing scraps. You can buy a small accordion file (used for bills or coupons) to house smaller scraps and keep the larger scraps with the original patterned papers and cardstock papers. You can also purchase larger accordion files (8.5x11 or 12x12) for scraps. These are pretty easy to find, and they take up relatively little space.
You can also store scraps in hanging file folders. Most office supply stores… and The Container Store… these days sell portable or desktop filing systems. I found this works great because you can take out a whole file folder (full of, say, blue scraps) and bring it to your workspace. They’re all nicely contained, and you can keep it there until you’re finished digging through it to find just the right scrap. :) With both the hanging file folder and accordion file method, you can usually have enough room to hold both cardstock and patterned paper scraps together.
If you decide to store your cardstock in Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders or Paper Pouches, you can keep scraps in a 2nd Cropper Hopper Paper Pouch or a project holder (or sticker holder) to keep them close to your cardstock.
I find that the more accessible my scraps are, the more I use them. So the closer they are to my patterned paper and cardstock, the better.
You could also keep scraps in Sterilite drawers or clear plastic “project cases.” If you keep these containers close to your other papers, again, you’re more likely to use them.
How someone else stores their scraps may not work for you. You may use your scraps for only cards or mini books. You could create a special container/drawer/basket/bucket full of supplies for cards and mini books… and this place could include all your scraps.
Whichever route you choose, choose what’s best for you and how *you* scrap.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I thought we'd take the first week to get everyone here, signed in (although if you come in later and want to join in, just jump right in! Everyone is welcome! :D), and write down our organizational goals! So... if you'd like to join the challenge (or have an organized space and want to be a cheerleader), please post ONCE with your goals and survey (or to "save" your spot)! :)
Once we have a majority of people signed on, we can start "chatting," but for now... we'll just chat *about* this thread in one of the other threads regarding this challenge. This will help keep everyone's goals at the beginning of the thread and therefore, easier to go back and edit and look at. :)
And here is a list of things that are nice to have on hand while we're doing this challenge. You don't HAVE to have these things, but this made it easier for me. :)
1. THINGS YOU NEED
Journal or Notebook with pen (attached to journal! I'll show a tutorial on my blog this week.)
Labels (temporary or permanent... post-its, sticky, pre-sticky tags, etc)
Ziploc bags (sandwich-sized and/or snack sized)
Temporary containers (shoe boxes, unused photo boxes, gift bags, that box that chocolates came in, whatever...)
Inspiration (I have an exercise for this too...)
Now it's time to write down our goals! Goals like... paint room, set up new shelves, re-organize flowers, etc... I mean obviously I'll cover everything in our "program" (tee hee), but it's nice to have personal goals, so you can cross them off as you go. This way, it will support you *as* you go and encourage you to *keep* going! :) PLUS, it will help all of us keep up with you.
We are in this together! We all want to be here for support and encouragement! For this reason, please post before photos as soon as you can (on your blog or gallery or wherever). And no cleaning it up for photos either! That IS NOT allowed! LOL. I don't care if you have cookie sheets and kitty litter boxes in your space right now... it's photo time! :D
(Questions that will help you organize better and choose storage containers accordingly.)
Do you need everything uniform (storage containers all one color or material)?
Do you want things visible and open? Not visible and open? Closed and visible? Closed and not visible? (these questions taken from Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker)
What’s working for you (organizational-wise)?
What’s not working for you?
What do you need to have close-by?
What inspires you?
What do you think will be the most challenging when organizing your space?
What specific thing are you most excited about?
Do you have a color scheme or theme? If so, what is it? If not, do you want one?
4. EXERCISE 1!
Think of your favorite patterned paper... ever. You know, that one line or collection that came out, and you said to yourself, “This is SO me!” Or “Holy Cow! This is so beautiful, I don’t even want to cut into it!” Or “Wow, this is awesome! Can’t wait to cut into this!” Or maybe you were just in awe, “I think I’ll just frame it. No cutting. No gluing. Just framing.” You know what I mean?!
Basic Grey’s Periphery was this way for me. I saw it, and I just... knew. I knew those colors and that feeling. When I look at it, I just feel so... at home and happy that there’s *that* kind of beauty in this world. :) I tried different looks and color schemes for my space, but I kept going back to it. I finally just gave in.
So find that one piece of paper or line. And make a project. RIGHT.NOW. A mini book, an altered box, a layout, a card, a home decor item. Heck, just frame it if need be. And once this task is completed, put it up in your space some place (preferably up out of the craziness). THIS will be your inspiration till we’re done with your room! Even if you don't want THESE colors/patterns for your room, it's good to be inspired!
If you already scrapped it, see if you can go out and buy another. If you can’t, get something out that you have made with it. Oh, and don’t forget to show it to us! We’re all in this together. ;)
***So hopefully, everyone will have these exercises completed in the first week. HAVE FUN! :D I will post all the challengers on this post, so we know ALL who is participating! :D