Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #5

Still playing catch-up.  This one should have posted on April 23.

Memorabilia, Journaling Notes, and Creating a Holding Album

Our first objective in this challenge was to gather all of our memorabilia in one spot.  I pretty much had that done already ... in a big box in my closet.  So I dragged that box out and started sorting.  Turns out, I had some stuff in there that I couldn't even identify.  Hope it wasn't important.

For my storage system, I decided to use some plastic string-closure folders that I have had forever that weren't being used.  Instead of using labels, I opted for sticky notes so I could reuse the folders after I completed my layouts.  My sticky notes contain the event, date, and location.  I also went ahead and put any related photos (that had already been printed) in the plastic folders with the memorabilia and notes.

The plastic folders fit nicely into a magazine holder, and this became my "holding album."
This challenge was a LOT easier than I thought it would be (thank goodness!)

Now, when I get ready to create the layouts (or head to a crop), I can grab one of these folders, add some paper, some embellishments, stick it all into one of my CropperHopper folders and skedaddle!  Easy peasy!

Next week ... Stamps, Punches, and Cutting Systems.  Uh oh.

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #4

Okay, so I'm playing a bit of catch-up here with my blog posts.  I got a little sidetracked by life, so I actually should have posted this one on April 16.  Oopsie.

A Plethora of Pictures

That was this week's challenge.  I have a lot of pictures.  Fortunately, the genealogist side of my personality has been working on scanning them all into the computer.  Unfortunately, there  are still quite a few that need to be done.

I finally went through the box o' crap stuff that I inherited from my mom and found my baby book (I'm the first-born, so mine is actually filled out!), and a bunch of photos of me.  There were also photos of my siblings and other family members as well.

I worked and worked on sorting them all out, deciding which ones I wanted to keep and which ones I wanted to toss keep in a separate bin until the end of time. (You never know when someone else might want one of those photos!)

My photos serve two purposes.  First (and foremost) is my genealogy.  I attach them to each individual in my family tree program.  Second, I use them for scrapbooking.  I usually don't use them in their original size, so scanning and editing works best for me.  Plus, I don't damage the original photo in the process.

Once I had them all sorted, I started scanning like a crazy person.  I got them all done, too.  The renaming and organizing of the scanned photos?  That's another story.  What a challenge!

Using the photos for scrapping necessitates a completely different organizational structure than my genealogy.  So I decided to just name and organize the photos like I usually do, and then I tagged them with a specific event or other scrapbook page idea.  That way, I can just search for all the photos of my daughter at the zoo and voila! all the photos I need will pop up and then I just have to print them in their appropriate sizes.

I made a list of the pages I want to create (thereby also making a list of my tags) and then I proceeded to narrow down the number of photos I wanted to use for each layout by untagging my least favorite.  The hard part there is remembering if I have any other memorabilia that needs to go on the page as well (that's next week's challenge).  Hopefully, I won't have to revisit the tagging/untagging process once I get ready to actually create the layouts.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos while I was doing my photo organizing.  It was quite the yawn-fest anyway.  I can't promise that next week will be any more exciting ... sorting memorabilia and journaling notes!  Wheeee!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #3

I bit the bullet and bought a ScrapRack.  I got online and ordered it last Thursday.  I've been on pins and needles ever since!

I attended the webinar for Challenge #3 on Monday, April 2.  The only part of this challenge that applied to me this week was to sort and store one container of embellishments (including diecuts) per day for 4 out of the next 7 days.  The other item on the challenge checklist was to sort more paper, but mine is all sorted already.

Here is my table with everything sorted:
Fortunately, I don't have a lot of embellishments, so this week wasn't too terribly burdensome for me.  This is as far as I can go with putting my stuff away until I get the ScrapRack.  No sense in doing it twice, right?

I have also added some fun stuff to my scrap area, I put up some small shelves and my clip wire (this actually comes in handy when something needs to dry).  You can see my Benefit Board hanging up there too as a nice reminder.  Now I just need to find someplace else to hang those maps so I can put up some big shelves.
Three weeks down, five to go.  Next week ... photo sorting!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #2

When we left off last week, I was trying to decide whether to move my work area from the loft to the dining room.  Well, between the heat and bonking my head one too many times, the dining room finally won out.  

This week, the challenge included:

  1. Create an "organized only" space in your craft or storage area.
  2. Choose a storage tool for your paper.
  3. Create templates or dividers for sorting.
  4. Sort at least 8" of paper.
  5. Sort your scraps - throw away any scraps that don't meet your minimum requirement.
  6. Put your newly organized paper into the "organized only" area.
For item #1, I decided to make the new space in the dining room my "organized only" space, and left everything upstairs that wasn't organized.

For item #2, I kept the same paper organization system I had before, but I turned the boxes so the dividers were vertical.  It makes it a little easier to thumb through the papers this way.

Items #3 and #4 go together, but since I didn't have 8" of paper to start with, I just sorted it all, including my scraps for item #5.  Here's the finished product (item #6):
In each slot is a single color (ROYGBP - I skipped the BIV and just went with blue and purple) and I have extra slots for brown, black/gray, and neutrals.  I also have a slot for specialty type papers (cardboard, grungeboard, burlap, etc.), and a "rainbow" slot for all the papers that have lots of colors in them.

When I sorted the scraps, I put a file folder in the front of each color and just put the scraps in the folders.  I also make cards, so my scrap minimum was 2" x 3".  There were very few pieces that I actually purged.

The drawers will eventually hold my ink pads and stamp bases in one drawer, stickles and other fun glues in another.  I haven't really figured out what to put in the other two.  I'm sure I'll think of something.

Of course, since I relocated my work area, my maps of Ireland are going to need a new home so I can put up some shelving.  I like the fact that my area is next to a nice big window to allow some natural light.  I also have curtains that are supposed to be up there, but I mis-measured mis-eyeballed the window and the curtain rod I bought was about 8" too short, so I have to get a different one.

It's not shown in the picture, but behind me is another area where I will do all of my cutting and scoring, and a little bit of storage.  There's nothing there because it's not organized yet ... that's the rule, right?

One thing I have realized is that this would be much easier if I had purchased the ScrapRack before I started rather than waiting until the end, especially for my themed paper.  Right now I have it sorted-in-waiting in some page protectors upstairs.

So now I have finished Challenge 1 and 2, which means I get to reap my benefits!  Hooray!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

File Folder Mini-Album

About a month ago, I was trolling around YouTube for ideas and ran across a video for a mini-album using re-purposed manila file folders (tutorial part starts around 2:45).  I was intrigued.  You see, I had two full boxes of file folders that I knew I would never use (but have probably packed and moved them twice in the last 6 years) because they weren't third-cut.

I followed along with the video and made my own mini-album.  It's not bad for a first try ... I like the way it turned out:
Front cover

You can use any configuration of pockets, flaps, etc.

Bling always makes it interesting!

Back cover
This would make an excellent gift for graduation, summer camp, class trip, cruise, or pretty much any occasion.  It's also a great way to use up your scraps!

When all was said and done, I probably spent about 6 hours putting this together - from start to finish - but it would probably go much faster if it was planned and organized (which this totally wasn't) and by someone who has more experience.

Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #1

I attended the webinar hosted by Tiffany Spaulding of ScrapRack on Monday, March 19.  My scrap area isn't overly disorganized because I don't have as much stuff as others who have been scrapping for years and years, so this is more a pre-emptive strike to avoid becoming a  candidate for an A&E television show. 

My scrap area is small (only 7 x 12).  Because I'm in a finished attic loft, the challenge for me is the outer wall of my room -- it's only 2 feet high -- and then I have to contend with a ceiling that has a nearly 45-degree slope.  Despite my short stature (I'm only 5'2"), I am constantly bonking my head on it.  You can see pictures here.  Only about 4 feet of that 7-foot span is usable space for standing.  Plus, it gets pretty warm up there during the summer.

While I am going through the 8-week Get Organized Challenge, in the back of my mind I will be trying to decide whether I want to stay in the loft or move my scrap area down to my dining room (which has stood empty, waiting for the "perfect" dining room table for over a year).  There is tons more space, it stays pretty cool, and I don't hit my head.  But what if I finally see the perfect dining room table?  Therein lies my dilemma.

OK.  Back to the Challenge.  The challenge this week is as follows:
  1. Use my craft supplies to create a "Big Benefit" reminder, and a reward list for each of the 8 challenges I complete.  It has to be hung up somewhere where I can see it every day.
  2. Read the 4 Section System Article here.
  3. Create my "Themes" index.
  4. Gather my supplies together in one room or space.
  5. Set my purge goals, get a purge box, and find a home for my purge.
  6. Evaluate my space for visibility and accessibility.  Make changes and prepare the space for my supplies.
  7. Join the 2011 Get Organized Challenge Group on Facebook.
I completed #2, 4, and 7 right away.  Item #5 was a little difficult for me, as I am just a beginning crafter and don't really have all that much stuff that needs to be purged (or I won't have anything left!).  So I've decided that I'm not going to set a purge goal for now.  That may change with subsequent challenges.

I got my "Big Benefit" page (item #1) put together by Wednesday ... but man, I had a hard time with the rewards.  I really don't have to work my schedule around a husband or kids (just a pesky job), so the "leave me alone" time is pretty much whenever I want, and I don't have to answer to anyone else for my spending either ... so I really had to work to get some rewards that would motivate me.  Here is what I ended up with:
I finally got my Themes Index (item #3) done on Sunday night (I was sidetracked by a weekend crop at Archiver's with my sister -- I'll post more on that later).  I had to add a couple of new themes after my visit, but it's also done now.

The last item on my list was #6, and I'm still debating the loft vs. dining room question.  Hopefully, I'll have that sorted out soon.  Tonight ... webinar #2!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hangin' With Some Local Gals ... Finally!

The 2-hour drive one-way to my sister's neck of the woods was starting to cut into my crafting budget, so I wanted to find some folks locally who were into the "scrapping scene."  I thought about reaching out to a local Creative Memories consultant, but I thought that would be a little tacky since I had already become a customer of the CM consultant near my sister.  Besides, I like her.

I had pretty much given up on being able to find anyone around here.  That is, until I had dinner with some college friends last week.  We always have a good time, but when one of my friends mentioned that she went to a card making class once a month, I almost screamed.  (Actually, I think I might have a little bit).  She invited me to her class the following week (this past Thursday).  I couldn't wait!

So it turned out to be about a 30 minute drive, which is still significantly better (and cheaper) than a 2-hour drive each way.  This was a Stampin' Up class and the ladies there were so much fun.  I had such a good time and we made some really cute cards:

I learned some new techniques and (of course) ordered a few things from the catalog so I could continue the awesomeness.  By the time I left, I felt like I had known these ladies all my life.  I am really glad I went, and I'm looking forward to next month's class!

On a side note, here are a couple of other projects I've worked on lately:
A birthday card for my mom
A valentine my sister and I made at an Archiver's demo

I have another little project that I've been working on ... thanks to a YouTube video.  I'll show you that one in a separate post.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Tribute to Grampa

After several rounds of trips (armed with 40 and 50% off coupons) to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, and Archiver's, I finally have some sort of organization going on in my craft room.

Here's what it looks like now.  Sorry there's no "before" photo - just use your imagination and then multiply it by 10.

The walls are only 2 feet before they hit the ceiling, and those little storage units are expensive (!), so I'm sort of limited.  But I did manage to get a chair!  Now if I can just stop bonking my head on the ceiling, I'll be golden.

Inspired by my newly organized space, I decided to work on the pages for my maternal grandfather.  Here's what I came up with:

Now I only have 5 more pages to work on, and I can start refilling my planners once again! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Very First Page

My sister invited me to a scrapbooking party crop (sorry, still working on the terminology) this weekend.  What fun!  The night before, I did a mad scramble to put together something to work on so I could at least look like I knew what I was doing.  Trying to justify tie this new hobby into my genealogy passion, I printed out some old photos, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia of my grandfather from his time in the service during WWII stuffed in into one of the handy-dandy pocket thingies my sister recommended.  (I recommend them too ... makes it very easy to organize your "in progress" pages).

My sister lives 2 hours away, so packing was critical.  I wasn't sure what to bring - and my scrapbooking supplies are quite limited, it turns out - so I just threw a bunch of stuff I knew my sister didn't also have into a tote bag and threw it in the car.

So the crop was being held by one of my sister's neighbors who is a Creative Memories consultant.  I was proud of myself for browsing through the catalog and only spending $20 ... on this.  Purple.  I know, right?

When all was said and done, I managed to complete my very first scrapbook page:
After I got home on Saturday, I decided to work on the second page:
This one is still waiting for one more element,
but I  haven't finished it yet
I was on a roll, so I kept working on yet another page:

For the first two pages, I used a page map book that my sister had.  So thankful that we had that, or I would still be sitting there trying to figure out what to do.  The last page came completely out of my brain.  I really think I just needed to get some "girly" out after working on the Army pages for so long.

Wow.  Three pages in one 24-hour period.  I feel very creative now.  I've started putting my craft area together in the loft upstairs, but it's going to take some serious work.  Right now everything is just sort of crammed into a recycled TV stand and a folding table.  I don't even have a chair.  I think that might be first on my new list.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

In The Beginning ...

My sister inherited all the creative DNA in our family.  I got none.  She is very crafty, and I am SO not.  Without explicit instructions, I am unable to create ... well, anything.  But I want to make cute things with my own two hands!  So I have dabbled in different kinds of crafts - crocheting, sewing, scrapbooking, cardmaking (I even tried knitting once.  I've been making the same scarf for about 6 years now and it's still 6 inches long) - and give up after nothing I make looks like it does in my head.

When my sister asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to join her in a card workshop at Archiver's, I was excited, but hesitant.  What if I embarrassed myself by being a complete noob?  What if my stuff turned out like a 2nd grade noodle project?  I furiously scoured the internet for remedial crafting courses ... to no avail.

First, let me just say that the instructors at Archiver's have the patience of a saint.  Seriously.  Second, I was incredibly relieved when the class was from a pre-packaged kit (whew!).  No real creativity involved, per se; it was more about the techniques and tools, which was perfect for me!  I got to learn the "lingo" (pop dot versus glue dot, etc.) which I never knew before.  I also got to learn what all those fun tools were for (half of which I probably have stashed away in my storage room because I never knew what they did or why I bought them)!

We made Itty Bitty Valentine cards from a kit created by Archiver's.  The final product was this:
You can't really tell, but the cupcake top is puffy and blinged out.

My card with little quilled heart in the bottlecap isn't exactly cooperating

We also got to make a bag!  It looked a lot harder than it actually was, and I was quite pleased with my end result:

Even the envelopes got some lovin'!
In a little over 3 hours, I learned the basics of stamping, scoring, punching, quilling, layering, and all the vocabulary that goes with them (excluding the words of the four-letter variety - those were all mine).  Not a bad deal for $20.

So after this class (and another $80 or so on my way out of the store) this was my first official foray into the world of papercrafting.  Heroin has nothing on Archiver's.  Just sayin.