ORGANIZING YOUR CRAFT SUPPLIES – Part 3 of 3

Continued From Yesterday:

** Don’t Over Buy – Use what you have. Try to resist the urge to buy new papers, punches and embellishments until you’ve used the craft supplies you have. I know this is really hard to do. I can open up a store with all the papers and embellishments that I have. Take a look at your inventory before you go shopping, this will save your wallet of unnecessary items and you might just find something you forgot you had. How cool is that it’s like going shopping in your own craft room.

** Shop Online. You’ll save a lot of time running back and forth to your local craft store if you decide to shop online  for your craft supplies. Everything you need can be shipped right to your doorstep and sometimes you save money on the product and also the sales tax. Come on people we all like to save money so we can buy more.

** What to do with things you just don’t use anymore. If you have something you haven’t used in a year or more, such as craft scissors or stickers, paper, donate them to a local church or daycare facility. Some times even senior centers are looking for crafty items. This is a good way to give back to your community.

** Multitask. Looking for a few minutes here or there to catch up on your Scrapbooking or Card making? Take and make phone calls in the same room that you designated for your Craft Room for Scrapbooking or Card making. Then, while you’re on the phone with your friends or family, you can crop, frame or mount at the same time. Or, instead of making punches when you need them, make a bunch of punches at once while you’re watching television, or are on the telephone, or when you’re waiting for a pot of water to boil because where I live that takes awhile. This will save time later because your punches will be ready when you need them.

** Clean up scraps. Always keep a wastebasket near your workstation, all the scraps that you’re not planning on using can be tossed immediately. Don’t leave trash on your work surface.

** Put it away. Always have a place for your supplies, and when you’re finished using them, take a few moments to put everything away. You should be able to start fresh with a clear mind and a clear surface. Plus I am a clean freak.

** Spare time. Those spare minutes that we all have can be put to good use. Have to wait at the doctor’s office for your appointment? Sketch out a quick layout idea. Waiting for the wash cycle to finish? Sort some photos or gather supplies for tomorrow’s Scrapbooking or Card making project.

** Write it down. I am known as the list person, everyone always busts me about it, but I rarely forget anything. So don’t ever leave your home without a small notebook in hand. You’re bound to come up with a thought or cute caption for your scrapbook. Inspiration is everywhere, but if you don’t write down your ideas, they may disappear forever. You may also want to keep a small pad and a pen near your bedside, in case you have a bright idea in the middle of the night. It is amazing what your brain can think of in the weee hours of the morning.

Have a Great Day and don’t forget to leave time to Craft!

Organize Craft Supplies Part 1

Organize Scrapbooking Room Part 2

ORGANIZING YOUR CRAFT SUPPLIES – Part 2 of 3

Continued From Yesterday:

** Storage Containers. Do a little bit of research and purchase a Scrapbooking and/or Rubber Stamp organizer, which will hold papers, rubber stamps, supplies, etc. There are many products on the market that can help you keep it all together. Many office supply stores carry six-drawer organization stations. They’re vertical and have 6 see-through drawers of equal size. Each drawer can be designated for a different purpose -papers, templates/die-cuts, stickers, etc. Plus, they have wheels, which make them very easy to transport from one room to another. Or, if you often bring your Scrapbooking or Rubber Stamping supplies outside of your home when attending a crop party or to a friend’s house, use a portable system that isn’t too heavy and comes with a handle and wheels for easy transport. Again my favorite is Crop-In-Style Navigator. It holds everything that you need for a night out or weekend scrapping event. If you are a Stamper, Crop-In-Style also has a tote that has drawers inside to hold your rubber stamps and supplies called the Stamp Store that works really well.

** Try a kitchen gadget caddy. If you always Scrapbook and make Handmade Greeting Cards at home, use a kitchen utensil caddy with a number of divided compartments, like those you normally keep tall kitchen spoons, ladles, and spatulas in. They hold your markers and embossing powders in them perfectly. The ones that spin will you’re your most used supplies at your fingertips.

** Hang it up. If you’re lucky enough to have a Craft Room specifically for you Scrapbooking and/or making Handmade Greeting Card, hang a large pegboard above your work area. You can then attach scissors, templates, crimpers, rulers, stencils and more, all within easy sight and reach. In addition, you might hang a small ledge or shelf nearby, to store all of your corner punches, paper trimmers, embossing powders, and so on. If you prefer everything out in the open, this system will work like a charm. Check out the new Rack system by Lisa & Becky.

** Save stickers and shapes. Stickers and punched shapes can be kept in acid-free sheet protectors, plastic baseball card sheets, business card sheets. Each sheet should be categorized and labeled by theme: birthday, Christmas, Halloween, wedding, springtime, etc. Insert these sheets into a 3-ring binder. If you have a large number of stickers and shapes, you may want to purchase a sticker binder designed just for stickers. My favorite is from Crop-In-Style sticker binder.

** Minimize and organize magazines. Are your bookcase/shelves full of Scrapbooking magazines and or Handmade Greeting Card magazines? You can go through your magazines, find the articles you wish to keep and organize them into file folders by category, or in a 3-ring binder. In other words, keep the articles, toss the magazines. There are many Special Edition Magazines that I store in a large 3 ring binder all in tact.

** Choose a designated work area. Scrapbooking is more fun and less of a chore when everything is in one place. If possible designate a room, or a portion of a room, in your home for this activity .Organize your work area for increased productivity. Make sure it’s well lit. Find a comfortable chair to sit on and keep your supplies and tools within arm’s reach.

Organizing your craft supplies Part 1

Organize Scrapbooking Room Part 3

ORGANIZING YOUR CRAFT SUPPLIES – Part 1 of 3

Organizing Your Craft Supplies:

Find the system that works for you. Different personalities require different organization systems. Just get a system that works for you and the space that you work in. Also get a system that will allow you to grow as your supplies grow. You don’t want to keep changing your system all that does is confuse you and then you have no idea where you put things (I know, it’s happened to me).

If you find things easier when they’re alphabetized, then use that type of system. Perhaps you’re better at finding things by color, or maybe you prefer to organize by manufacturer. It’s all about finding the style that makes you most productive.

** Storing photographs. Once your photos are developed (or printed), you need to store them safely until you’re ready to put them in your scrapbook. Keep them separated by year or event. There are so many different products out on the market to store your photos in, just make sure that they are acid free and archival safe. Don’t forget to Label the outside this will save you time later when looking for a specific photo or event.

** Store embellishments and other items. Sometimes, for the purpose of creatively decorating your scrapbook, you may wish to keep tickets, brochures, maps and postcards, golfing score cards that are related to a particular trip or event. Use manila file folders, and label them so you know what is inside. File them away until they’re ready to be used. Once you want to add these articles to you scrapbook page, a good idea will be to spray them with an acid free, archival quality protective coating. Again there are many different kinds on the market. I use a spray from Rogers Craft Source called Scrapbook Protectant Spray.

** Organize paper. Where do you keep all of that cool paper until you’re ready to use it? Many Scrapbookers use paper racks to organize their paper. Vertical paper storage also is a great alternative this is my choice for storing paper. It is easy to pick out your favorite colored or pattern paper quickly. You can get a plastic, portable filing container just make sure that it is archival safe. There are also hanging file folders available. Label the hanging files by theme or color. If you don’t have room for all of these racks and filing cabinets, Crop-In-Style has a portable Paper Taker tote that also works fantastic for all size papers.

You may also want to buy acid free photo boxes to hold blank Greeting Cards and Envelopes for your handmade card. You can label the outside of the box with the size of the cards and also the color of the cardstock. This helps when looking for a specific size/color blank card.

** Storing Rubber Stamps. Shallow, plastic containers work best. You shouldn’t stack rubber stamps; the reason is that it will be easier to see the top of the stamp that shows your design. In my case I have thousands of stamps so I do have some that are stacked but I also have then in plastic containers that are labeled with the theme of the stamps inside.

** Store tiny stuff. For very tiny die-cuts and other small items such as brads or eyelets, check out storage containers at your local craft store or even hardware store. They have great items for organizing. Baby food jars or any clear containers serve the same purpose.

** Keep it together. Already have a pretty good idea of stickers and die-cuts you’re planning to use with a particular set of photographs? Keep them in the same storage product that you have chosen for your photos until you’re ready to put them into your scrapbook. This way, everything will be in one place and ready to use.

Have a Great Day and don’t forget to leave time to Craft!

Organize Craft Supplies Part 2

Organize Scrapbooking Room Part 3

SPRING CRAFT SHOW IN THE RECORD BOOKS

Another Spring Craft Show in the Record Books

I can’t believe that the Spring Show is over.  It takes so long to prepare and then it is gone.  I guess it is just like any event that you plan for.  The preparation always takes more time than the actual event.  

The overall census of the show this year was that there were a lot of “lookers” and not “buyers”.  My friend’s mom called them “Lookie Lous” Me personally, I think that since Easter is so early this year, and tax season is creeping just around the corner that people really weren’t buying for that reason.  All of the crafters products were great; there were a lot of jewelry crafters with beaded items, ceramic pottery, rhinestone shirts & hats, candy, some “crafters” that I wouldn’t call crafters were selling items that were not hand made, almost like going to a flea market kind of items and antique stuff.

The coolest part is that I was the only one there who was selling Handmade Greeting Cards.  I did really well on my Easter cards and Custom Birthday cards and believe it or not Get Well cards.  I did make Mothers Day & Fathers Day cards but they didn’t sell, I’m thinking that people don’t think that much in advance, at least not at this show.  That is the chances that you always take when you are in a show.  You never know what is going to be the big seller.

The best part of selling your own handmade greeting cards or whatever it is that you create is the satisfaction and accomplishment that you feel when the customer comes up to you and compliments you on your work.  It is a feeling that puts a big smile on your face.

Have a Great Day and don’t forget to leave time to Craft!

COUNTING DOWN TO THE SPRING CRAFT & GIFT SHOW

Counting Down to the Spring Craft & Gift Show

Today is a get “my butt” in gear day. This show is going to be fantastic for Easter cards primarily because of the timing of the event. I have come up with a few design ideas that I’ve been working on in my head. Now it’s time to put it to work. Here is a sample of one of my ideas.

Simple steps to Creating the perfect handmade Easter Card:

I find that being organized is very helpful so I get all my supplies ready for this one card, this way it keeps my work area clear of unwanted materials.

Now since I know that I am going to make 25 of each image, I will work in stages. For me this is the best way to mass produce cards. Especially if you are going to be making a cards that are layered.

1. I then start stamping the image on the white cardstock with my black ink. (I am using color box pigment ink since I will be using embossing powder. The pigment ink stays wet longer and holds the powder great.)

2. Once I have stamped the image on my cardstock, I then apply my Clear Embossing Powder to the stamped image. I shake off the excess into my plastic tray since I can re-use what was shaken off. (I use a plastic craft tray that has a funnel at one end, this makes is really easy to put the embossing powder back into its original container.)

3. I then heat the embossing powder with my Embossing Heat Tool until the Embossing powder crystals are smooth and shiny. (I use a Marvy Embossing Heat Tool.)

4. Then I use my colored embossing markers to color in my image. (I use Wet Looks Embossing Markers by Marvy)

5. When I have completed coloring my image I then apply Clear Embossing Powder to the entire image and heat with my Embossing Heat Tool until the embossing powder crystals are smooth and shiny.

6. Since I am using a layered look to my card, and have the words Happy Easter stamped on purple cardstock, I would follow the same inking and embossing procedures as I did on the stamped image of the card.

7. Now all I do is assemble the card to make the final product. I use adhesive tabs to put the layered cardstock together. (I use Herma Vario permanent tab adhesive).

You have now made a perfect handmade layered card for your family, friends or customers to enjoy. I bet whoever receives this hand made greeting card will never throw it out! This is a keeper for sure.

Easter Card 2008

Have a great day and don’t forget to leave time to craft!

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