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.