Sale

It must be that time to start to thinking about your Christmas cards if you plan to make them. We’ve had a lot of customers coming in and getting stamps, ink and paper just for that purpose.  There is still a great selection though, so I thought I’d share some with you in this post.

For starters, Great Impressions has a nice set plus instructions for 6 different cards.  Come in and check out the display board.  It is typical Great Impressions style – lots of glitter, just perfect for the holidays.  As always, the stamp of the month (the flourish right in the middle of the photo below) is half price if you buy one of any of the other stamps in the set.

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I love this reindeer, which is also part of this collection. It’s a perfect example of an easy to make card that looks fabulous.

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We’ve got lots of nice sayings, too. Here are a few:

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This snowman sparkles especially if you add a little glass glitter and “frosted ice”:

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And last, but not least, we’ve got several nativity scenes like this one in cling (please excuse the glare from the plastic packaging):

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And trees are always popular and make great cards.  We’ve got realistic ones and stylized ones, depending on your preference:

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So I encourage you to stop in soon while the selection is still good and you have plenty of time to make your cards.  Blog special:  Mention this post and get 30% off all Christmas stamps.

Marjorie

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Ah…the long delayed post on organizing stamps.

The simple truth of the matter is I love stamps, maybe even more than all those beautiful papers.  And I love wood stamps the most.  I love they way they look, the grain of the wood, the lovely stamped designs; I love they way they feel in my hand and I love they way they stamp, solid, with substance. But that being said, they take up a lot of room to store.  In my studio (ie. converted bedroom) at home, I have an entire wall of stamps.  My husband affectionately calls it my “Wall O’ Stamps” and even made a sign that says as much:

Nov 24

This is really just a simple bookcase.  I like the way the shelves are adjustable for height. I can stack stamps 2 and 3 thick, with the taller ones in back.  I love that my stamps are out where I can see them.  Fact: I use my stamps more when I can see them. I can even stack my SU! plastic boxes on these shelves.  But they do require that you have an entire wall that you can dedicate to storage.  And this is not even all of my stamps.  I have more in seven 6-drawer rolling plastic carts under my four 2×4 work tables. Yes, I know.  It’s an obsession.  I have a lot of wood stamps.  And that doesn’t take into account all the wood stamps in my larger studio (ie. Creating Lasting Memories).

wood stamps at clm

These cabinets at the store also have adjustable shelves.  They are in the classroom supply area.  Stop by the store and check them out anytime!

An alternative is Best Craft Organizer.  This storage system is customizable.  Order at the store.  They ship directly to your home.  Brochures are available at the store with exact sizes.  There are short and tall organizers with 3 drawer sizes: 1″, 2″, and 3 1/2″.  The 1″ drawers were designed for wood stamps.  And here’s the best part: from now until the end of March, Best Craft is offering these organizers for 25% off. Their options include desks, computer cabinets, paper storage, ribbon storage, dividers that go inside the drawers for storing small items, etc.  You must order through a distributor (ie. Creating Lasting Memories) but you can check it out at this website:

http://www.bestscrapbookshelf.com/

Now, to cling and clear stamp storage.  The number of different storage systems here is huge.  And when they come out with one you like, it gets discontinued.  Hence, I have three different ones I have started and my favorite is no longer available.  And to make things even more interesting, cling stamp sets come in a huge variety of plastic sheet sizes, as you know if you have ever purchased very many of these.  Teeny tiny, 2×3 up to 6×12. That’s the American way = free-enterprise.  But I do like Tim Holtz’s leather tooled organizer; it is perfect for his cling sets with their 3-hole punched plastic sheet.  Unfortunately, that is not a standard size (8 1/2 x 11) 3-hole punched sheet.  It is specific to his stamps (of course!). But it is gorgeous and I have three of them at the store.  He does sell plastic protector pockets to put similar or smaller sized stamp sheets in. Here’s a photo of Tim’s:

TH cling

Inkadinkado  sells a nice holder which has a cool little drawer inside for holding your acrylic blocks.  And you could always just use an 8 1/2 x 11 3-ring binder with regular page protectors.  These can be stitched to the exact size you need. I have one of these at the store too.  And Jennifer McGuire has an excellent post on this:

http://jennifermcguireink.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/07/how-to-video-clear-stamp-storage.html

In fact, check out her entire studio and how she organizes it.  Amazing.  Enlightening. Overwhelming. So organized. Wow.

http://jennifermcguireink.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/11/my-scraproom-part-1.html

For more organizing tips, Cropper Hopper has a pretty write up too at this address:

http://www.cropperhopper.com/organizationaltips.aspx#crop

And we can order anything by Cropper Hopper for you at the store.

Lastly, I promised to show you a decorating idea for your layouts.  This is so simple and looks so good.  It involves using drapery rods, just the cheap ones that you can purchase at Fred Meyer.  The length depends on the amount of room you have on a wall (yes, again, you need wall space).  I’ve seen these mounted way up high, though, where you may have empty space.  Use the ring clips that normally hold your curtains to hold your page protectors.  I put my layouts in page protectors with the holes up and then line up the clips with the holes.  It takes two clips per page.  I have two of these in my studio.  One is over the bed and it holds one 2-page layout and one 1-page layout.  The second one is over my desk and holds one 2-page layout.  They are easy to swap out.  I do this all the time, often displaying my latest completed layout “on the wall.” I love it!

on the wall

Not a great photo but hopefully you get the idea.

So that’s it for organizing for January, 2011.  I want to tell you that I have personally been so encouraged by all of you who have taken me up on the suggestion to get organized.  I think you will be glad you did it.  It’s easier to work when you can find stuff. It’s been fun to find product that you had forgotten you had. You probably can’t wait for the garage sale in July!! Suggestion here: put prices on that stuff right now (use the seller number you had last year; we always save those for you) before you store that box (boxes?) away.

Thanks for looking!

Marjorie

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This week I want to address the subject of embellishments.  This category is huge for some of us.  I already discussed ribbon and fiber in my first post on this subject.  But what about all those brads (not to mention scads of other metal and plastic things – all that Tim Holtz stuff we love!) and alphabet stickers and flowers and chipboard and die cuts and…..problem is, lots of packaging that’s takes up lots of room.

Let me begin by saying the first step is to sort and purge.  How do you sort?  Group like items together.  Put all the brad packages in one pile, all the flower packages in another, etc.  This will not only establish a little order to the chaos, but will also bring to the forefront a lot of stuff you probably forgot you had.  It will also reveal many half used packages.  Now, the purging.  As you put these items into some kind of storage container, try, try, try to get rid of what you know you won’t use.  Be realistic.  Will you ever use those foam alphabets with no vowels left? Consider the amount of storage space those items take up versus the likelihood of them being used.  One thing you can do is find a (large) cardboard box.  As you sort, put these half-used products in the box.  Then put the box out in the garage, or up in the attic or wherever you store rarely used things.  If you haven’t gone to that box after 6 months, give it to charity.  Or take it to the dump.  Really.

All that packaging takes up a lot of space.  It is GOOD if you can get rid of it.  I know, you think you are going to enter your pages or cards in a contest or magazine to become famous (or at least get some recognition) and then you will need to know who the manufacturer was. Again, really? Perhaps you need to ask yourself, “Why do I scrapbook or make cards?” And, “Can I even make them in this cluttered space?”  Here is one way to store a lot of stuff that I recently used at the store to unclutter:

scraponizer

This is called a scraponizer.  It comes in 2 sizes, 8 1/2 x 11 or 12×12.  I used the 8 1/2 x 11.  You get four clear plastic “trays.” Each one has a different configuration of compartments.  The four compartment tray I used to put flowers in: pink and purple in one, orange and brown in a second, green and blue in a third and white and red in the fourth compartment.  The try lifts out and you can put larger items underneath.  I put the self-adhesive sheets of flowers in there.  My huge plastic storage bag of flowers is now one tidy little plastic box.  It turned out to be super for brads.  I used the eight compartment tray.  Now my huge plastic storage bag of brads is now one tidy little plastic box. Here’s a photo:

brads in scraponizer

In the other two trays, I put alphabet stickers in the two compartment tray and chipboard shapes in the 3 compartment tray.  Here’s a photo of the alpha stickers in their new home:

alpha in scraponizer

Gotta tell ya I’m lovin’ it.  Of course, this is only a start with those alphabets!  They come in an astonishing array of sizes and I think I will need to break open one of the 12×12 Scraponizers to store those larger sheets.  For now, they are all in one of those 12×12 plastic bags from the store.  But i really like the way these trays sit on a shelf in their holder taking up very little room.  You can label the edge and decorate the holder with scrapbook paper to make it cute and decorative if you like.

Now for all those Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies metals, etc.  I use the Kaiser Craft 9-drawer pressed board organizer.  Once it’s painted and covered with paper, it really looks cute.  But you may be able to find other cute storage units at garage sales and antique shops, not to mention The Container Store (I sure wish I lived closer to one of these!).  I have an adorable floor unit with 12 drawers made out of wood that my daughter picked up for me on close out at Target.  I love it but it stands about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  Fortunately, I have an entire room for my studio at home. Here’s a photo of my cute Kaiser Craft unit:

Kaiser Craft drawers

This is only a few ideas for embellishments.  At home, I do have a Craft Mates container for my brads.  It works good for your brads if all you have is the small ones.  And it is really easy to grab and go for a crop.  I’ve also found great storage containers in the sporting goods department.  A lot of the containers they sell for fishing tackle work great for craft supplies.  And I have a tackle box itself for all my weird altered book stuff.  And the wooden cabinets with the pull out plastic drawers with handles that we discussed last week with paper also come in a variety of configurations for storing smaller items.

It is a never-ending challenge to be sure.  But remember this: sort, purge and store.  And how much room you have to store determines how much stuff you have to purge. Next post, my last one for January and for this subject, is storing stamps.  Oh yes, another huge challenge for a stamp-a-holic like me.  Just wait til you see my “Wall O Stamps!”  I will also discuss storing layouts and some great ideas for decorating with your layouts. And don’t forget that all organizational supplies are on sale for 30% off the entire month at Creating Lasting Memories.

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Before we start talking about getting organized, I wanted to share with you a fabulous site called Big Picture Classes.  They offer online classes for scrapbookers that are simply wonderful.  Some of the classes are even free.  I took a 30-day class in December from a top notch photographer.  I had decided to make a December Daily and I thought it would inspire me with the daily photography part.  What happened was I received a “prompt” each day to my email about a photo suggestion.  Tracy, the gal teaching the class, would even explain the camera settings to get the achieve a photo similar to hers.  I learned so much and it gave me food for thought, like taking pictures of frames, or seeing images in reflections, changing the lighting, using “drag” to suggest movement.  Well, the experience was wonderful and I highly recommend checking out the classes.  In January, I started the One Little Word class with Allie Edwards.  For this class, you receive a new lesson once a month with suggestions of how to use and learn from your word for the year.  I am also taking a class from AE called Yesterday and Today, which is all about incorporating more journaling and storytelling in your layouts.  So far, I am so impressed with the quality of these classes and the amount of time she puts into them, not to mention great layout ideas and graphics for download.  Check it out!  We can all benefit from classes and learning more about our hobby.

Now for my second installment of organizational tips.  I’m going to share with you how I organize my papers.  All those beautiful papers that we love to buy.  Do you struggle with how to store them and find them again when you want them?  First, I will tell you that I organize by color and by brand name.  To store by color, I use the plastic 6 drawer cabinets that are available at Fred Meyer for full 12×12 sheets.  If you can afford it, we sell a much higher quality product with wood cabinets and drawers with handles at the store.

Castors can be installed (purchase separately).  The drawers come in different sizes with varying adjustable and customizable compartment arrangements.  So you can store virtually anything in them.  The handle makes it really convenient to grab and go.

paper drawers

I love my paper holders with dividers for storing paper by brand name.  They are made of a nice sturdy plastic so they stand up straight on the shelf. It is easy to grab and find just the papers you want.  These holders and the dividers are very inexpensive (and even more so with the sale going on this month!).

paper holder

Here’s how mine look with the dividers:

dividers

Some other options available at the store are these paper organizers.  They have a nice handle at the top for carrying to a crop:

paper org

Another of my personal favorites is the page planners.  These come with a small pocket in the front for holding photos and project ideas.  They have one center pocket for holding full sheets of 12×12 paper and a half size pocket in the back for stickers, die cuts, etc.  I’ve been getting ready for the Coastal Crop Retreat by gathering my photos and papers together in these organizers. These also fit in the above paper holders so you can store 6-8 of them in one holder.

How do I store my paper scraps you ask?  Well at home I use a file cabinet.  Really.  I have that many scraps.  (Don’t ever tell me not to throw a piece of paper away.) I use 3 hanging file folders per color.  One folder is solid colors, one folder for pattern colors, and one folder for specialty papers (like mulberry, handmade papers, vellum, etc.).  It takes two file drawers to hold all of my scraps!  At the store, I was using the afore mentioned Fred Meyer 6 drawer plastic cabinets.  When they began to overflow, I decided to started trimming my scraps into card ready sizes: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2.  The smaller pieces I cut into “layer” sizes: 5 1/2 x 4 1/4.  I have been able to store A LOT of these pre-cut papers in a shoebox size plastic tub by color.  If you’d like to see what I’ve done, just ask the next time you are in the store. When we have our first Stamp Your Heart Out card making day on February 5, I’ll be all ready to share these card bases and layers for making our cards for charity.  By the way, if you have paper you don’t need, you may donate it to this worthy cause.  Feel free to drop off the scraps you no longer need at the store.

I hope you have found some of these tips helpful.  Just a reminder that we have gotten in a lot of these organizational products mentioned in this blog and they are all on sale for 30% off until the end of January.  Stop in and take advantage of some inexpensive ways to get your paper organized.

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Well, first let me say, welcome to 2011!  This really has nothing to do with organizing your supplies but I got a new camera for Christmas.  And now I have to learn how to manually focus – didn’t realize how much I had been relying on the auto thing.  But did anyone catch the absolutely fantastic sunsets we had last Wednesday.  I rushed out and snapped this photo using the “Scene – Sunset” setting on my camera.  It really did look just this incredible (only a little crisper as I still don’t have the focusing down).

sunset 1

Anyway, I hope 2011 finds you snapping lots of photos for your albums.  We are so blessed to live in a place of incredible sunsets, don’t you think?

One thing I hope to do by sharing about organizing your supplies, is to show you how I organize mine.  And I love the way I have my ribbon “stored.” I love the way it adds color to my studio space.  I have collected various jars, mason and others, to keep my ribbon in.  I sort by color.  I don’t roll it up or anything.  I just shove it in the jar.  It doesn’t seem to get wrinkled. When I need a piece I just pull it all out, choose the one I want, and shove them back in.  Not very scientific but it works and it looks so great up on my shelf.  I also have a selection of smaller jars for buttons. Then I use snack size baggies to keep the fibers in.  These I punch holes in the upper left corner and thread a piece of ribbon through and tie a bow.  They hang on a pin below the respective jars.  Here’s a photo of how it looks in my studio:

ribbon jars

This method of course, implies that you have a shelf to store your ribbon jars on.  My second favorite method for storing ribbon is to use ribbon rings.  These we sell at the store.  They take up virtually no space at all.  Your ribbon does not get wrinkled.  You can easily pick up the rings and put the whole kit and kaboodle in a ziploc storage bag and bring them with you to crop (or a suitcase if you’re going on a retreat).  The plastic tabs and the rings are pretty inexpensive.  And they look so festive hanging from a nail or a drawer pull or wherever you want to hang them.  Super easy and really economical.

ribbon ring

And here’s a close up of the rings and the plastic tabs:  you can really store an awful lot of ribbon of all widths and styles on these tabs, which come in two sizes.

ribbon ring close up

Thanks for stopping by the check out my first Organization tip.  If you read my email newsletter for this week, you know that all products for organizing your stuff are 30% off starting Monday, January 10, and lasting through the end of January.

Next post, I will talk about paper.  Hope to see you then.

Marjorie

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Happy Easter

March 31, 2010

in home decor, Sale

Check out this super-cute and fun Easter banner:

happy easter banner

It’s another Dottie original.  This one just makes me smile.  It’s so fresh and spring-like.

easter banner

Here’s a close-up of a couple of the tags to show all the detail.  They are also decorated on the back so if you are in the classroom tomorrow for our Make ‘n Take you can see that side too.

banner closeup

As I promised, here is a special sale just for those who are checking out the blog.  Mention you saw the banner on the blog and get 40% off all Easter products April 1-3rd: paper, stickers, stamps, yep, anything to do with Easter.

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

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