Workspace and Craft Room Rehab: Embellishments

This was most definitely the lesson that was needed in my craft space and also the one I was most looking forward to. I love, love , love me some embellishing and getting to paw through my collection of pretty things is pretty darn close to heaven in my world. Making them organized and accessible – oh yeah, lets start singing the Hallelujah Chorus! I really love how Carson broke down this section – Alphabets & Chipboard first, onto Stickers & Ephemera second, Washi & Wood Veneer third, then all the other bits and bobs. Embellishments are such an eclectic mix of supplies that you’d be hard pressed to be able to list them in all their various forms. For a lot of crafters those middle four certainly seem to be the ones that are in large supply in most crafting spaces these days and depending on the amount of time you’ve been crafting, you may also have quite a number of supplies that are no longer in vogue… ahem, eyelets and brads anyone…20170125_1workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments I may have been a little on the eager side to break into the Embellishments. Alphas were a great way to warm up before Stickers and Ephemera. I knew I’d bought some assorted alpha packs years ago at a cheap $2 Shop and it was about time a bunch of those got moved along. They must have been misprints or ill-aligned prints/cuts which didn’t bother me all those years ago but now they just needed to go. I also find when alphabets are a bunch of different colours they are so, so  hard to use, at least six sets of rainbow Alphas didn’t make the cut. They always seem to make words where you use two or three of the colours and not in a pretty alternating way, but in an odd way and it just always ends up looking weird to me. I picked a few sets that are pretty much used up but that I still love which I’m going to challenge myself to use on upcoming projects or else they’ll get binned and four sets whose fonts seem a little dated to me got moved out of my general stash and into my Epic Exchange Album kit to be used with some of the older product already in use there. As far as chipboard goes I really only have 12×12 sets aside from a  handful of loose generic shapes and the 12×12 chipboard lives on my paper rack so those were assessed during my paper purge which meant I pretty much skipped over that portion. So it was onto my favourite crafty supplies for a freshen up.20170125_2workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments 20170125_3workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishmentsI will admit that I am a bit of a sticker freak, none of the featured crafters in this portion of the class seem to have quite the same size sticker-stash as mine but I’m pretty sure just judging from some of the comments that there are other crafters doing the class that have a fair few more stickers (or other crafty supplies) than I do. In any case the tips and info given in the entirety of the class are pretty handy for coming up with solutions to tackle your own unique set of circumstances. Carson chooses to identify her stickers as either alpha stickers (as opposed to Thicker type materials) and image stickers and that works for her size stash. I on the other hand do not differentiate between materials used for Alphas and lump them all together as one (sticker, Thicker, rub-on etc) having purged and organized those in the last decluttering round. My image stickers on the other hand are sorted by theme and stored across three binders. I think this has a lot to do with the focus of our crafting efforts too. I am purely a 12×12 story focused, stash diving scrapper, she is an eclectic crafter who’s efforts run the gamut of cards, Project Life, layouts, mini’s & more. Sticker’s and Ephemera are my go-tos. Where as she (just from my gallery gazing) seems to work more with stamps, pocket albums and Studio Calico kits. Given the variety of sizes and themes of stickers I find binders and page protectors keep them corralled, view-able and easily accessible so I can identify the stickers I want to enhance or tell my story. Carson tends to have more similarly sized sticker sheets (probably from kit clubs) and given the smaller quantity can flick through in a matter of minutes to decide on what’s right for her particular project. So how’d I go decluttering? Well I’m pretty pleased with the amount of stickers I have on their way out of here. After my initial decision making efforts I was left with four different piles. Stickers that I either need to use or lose, stickers to pass on to my soon-to-be crafty friend, stickers to donate to my church and then stickers to go to the kids (in other words the ones that were as good as thrown out because they were about to be used up on art projects, the furniture and the inhabitants of our house in a matter of minutes). My binders seem thinner and that’s a plus but oh how I want to use them up. I have so many stickers that I could tell stories from and wrote a quick note on the back of some for later reference. They just spark all sorts of ideas for me and there are stories of my childhood, stories about my kids and so, so many others that were sparked just by going through them all.20170125_4workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_5workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_6workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments As I said above the concepts for organization in this class can carry over from supply to supply, case in point my new method for organizing ephemera is taken directly from an idea shared for acrylic stamp storage in the previous portion of the class Craft Room Rehab: Stamps and Inks. Rianne Alonte, one of Carsons crafty contributors to the class, uses Avery Elle storage pockets for all of her acrylic stamps, while this may not be a new idea she further identifies them with washi tape and labels to denote brand and collection/stamp name. I thought it was genius, it makes my little organizational heart happy. I had already considered before class started that a more uniform Ephemera/Die-cut storage system was necessary and that Avery Elle pockets may just fit the bill but I am yet to order some. So for the moment I just went with what I had on hand and used some ziplock bags to coral my diecuts and organized them by brand using Rianne’s clever washi idea then added the names using my trusty labelmaker. It looks and works so much better already. It is beyond easy to find the exact set of ephemera/die-cuts that I want and get them on my layouts. I suppose I’ve kinda cheated on this one. I did remove a few excess ephemera pieces during my clean up but the majority of the ones shown were separated out to be used for happy mail and other things of that nature when I bought the packets. I’ve got into the habit of removing die-cuts I don’t like/don’t suit my style upon opening a new pack just so I don’t have to look at them every single time I want to find a die-cut.20170125_7workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_8workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_9workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishmentsWashi and Wood Venner were certainly the easiest supplies to cover for me. Washi tape is not really a big supply issue I have about 30 odd in total, all sweetly arranged in an apothecary jar right in front of my cutting mat and I love the mix of colours, and just like ephemera pieces they make me inspired and happy just looking at them. I removed five sets and in what is fast becoming a trend around here the kids ran off with at least one roll before I could say “But wait…”. As far as Wood Venner I still don’t own a single piece so instead I chose to peruse my collection of metal charms/embellishments instead however I didn’t feel the need to remove anything from there at this point in time. It feels so good to have parts of my stash like that, that are only filled with things I know I love and will use on layouts, now if only my entire craft room could stay like that, it would be wonderful.20170125_10workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments 20170125_11workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishmentsAnd finally we got to the what the Marie Kondo of Scrapbooking might call Komono. All that miscellaneous other stuff that we amass, the bits and bobs, the extras. For me this includes things like enamel dots, frames, rub-ons, assorted one-off paper embellishments, paper fasteners (like shaped paperclips or those little metal tear drop things), sequins, doilies, flowers, twine and of course my collection of brads, eyelets and ribbon. Not a lot went from here either. Two orange doilies and a couple of packs of sequins was about the extent of it. Perhaps I am burning out a little on the decluttering or maybe I really do just like all this stuff. But for the moment I am happy with the level of decluttering that’s gone on around here and the amount of supplies that have been moved on to other places.20170125_12workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_13workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishmentsGrouping my decluttering efforts by type rather than location like I did in my last decluttering effort in 2015 has really made it clear that I have quite the abundance of different spots where I house things of the same category and none more so than my collective haul of embellishments. They live in binders, drawers, baskets, jars, and even a lantern. Certainly it works for the way I craft and think of supplies but I have found myself jumping all over my craft room to work on this set of supplies or that set none of which seem quite as neglected as my paper/flat embellishments drawer. It’s where I house all the odd sorts of things that are one-offs or in limited supply and I rarely think to use them. The most used would be my supply of doilies but even my rub-ons are massively neglected when it comes to being the selected embellishment.20170125_14workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishments20170125_15workspaceandcraftroomrehab_embellishmentsWhile Carson has hinted that the next installment will cover tools (including dies, punches, adhesives, embossing supplies, along with others). I can only hazard a guess as to what else may be covered in the class in the future. She may have a portion on Mixed Media and while I have already covered my ‘wet media’ I neglected to think about my mixed media tools like stencils and masks, paintbrushes, mats etc. so I’ll add those in to the next section too. I’m not sure how many sessions of Craft Room Rehab will be made available in the end but I have determined that as far as I’m concerned other topics that may come up or that I need to cover are Resources, ie magazines & idea books, printed class materials. Kits, because I don’t subscribe to any kit clubs these will be the ones I’ve created for myself. Albums and Mini book supplies, including page protectors, binding materials, construction materials. Planner supplies, a lot of which have been covered in other sections but I wouldn’t mind creating a designated spot to house items I specifically want to use in my Memory Planner like particular stamps, stickers or washi rolls, even if it’s just as much a pencil case or something. Photos, Memorabilia and Other crafting (sewing, cross-stitch, knitting or whatever your side crafting hobby/hobbies are) however I suspect I will need at least another month to sort through a lot of that so some won’t be tackled in this round or crafty decluttering in January.

 

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Workspace and Craft Room Rehab: Technique Types

Let’s do this, another batch of scrappy stuff to go through and sort, purge and organize. Today I’m lumping all the Technique type supplies together Stamps, Inks and Mixed Media supplies. These are the things I tend to use infrequently or in spurts of creativity, not necessarily the things I reach for on an every-day/every-layout basis. In Craft Room Rehab: Stamps and Inks which I’m using as my guide for the purging part of redoing my Workspace my technique stash is probably what Carson would consider as a small stash (30 sets or less). My stamping supplies took about half an hour to sort through – for everything – and my technique/mixed media box even less. So yeah it’s on the small side.20170123_1workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypes 20170123_2workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypesI keep my everyday collection of clear stamps in an A5 Binder and use Kaisercraft Ziplock storage pockets to keep them in. The binder was just one I found floating around the house and the pockets were clearanced somewhere years ago, so it’s a pretty economical storage solution. It’s pretty much at capacity but the acquisition of a Heidi Swapp background stamp in my last purchase meant that I needed to ‘swap’ out another stamp to make room for it. The only one that wasn’t working for me was this butterfly and flower set. It’s not a quality stamp set and to be honest I don’t really like it anymore. I did however cut out the large butterfly that was on it because it’s probably the only image I will use in future. I also discovered I had an extra stamp set from the Kaisercraft Chartuese Collection so I’m passing that on along too. In addition I have another five Christmas sets that just permanently move from December Daily kit to December Daily kit so it might be an idea to find a more permanent home for them in the future, but I’m okay with how they are for now. 20170123_3workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypes 20170123_4workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypesThe rest of my stamp collection lives in some photo boxes and for the amount of times I use these things most all of them could be moved along (except for the ones on the acrylic blocks which I made myself, I’d totally keep them for sentimental reasons) but I figure in the grand scheme of things, the box isn’t needed for anything else right now so they can stay. It’s a bit of a hodge-podge of foam stamps, rubber stamps and wood-mounted stamps. I also have a set of Making Memories Foam stamps and a Typo DIY stamp kit that are stored with my acrylic blocks in their packages. I’ve probably used the Making Memories set the most of all of them but I am yet to settle on a design and carve my stamps from the Typo kit. I took out seven stamps that were never going to see the light of day and passed them on to the kids who promptly got stamping with them and the ink pads I discarded as well so they’re already getting more use than I ever gave them. 20170123_5workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypes 20170123_6workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypesNext in line was all my ink pads and stamping equipment. My Ink pads got a bit of a tidy up and I threw out a dodgy black ink pad that never created a clean image for me along with giving the kids three others, cheap ink pads all of them, so it would seem I’m becoming a bit of a stamping snob now that I’m buying Stayz On inks (ha). Of my stamping equipment two acrylic blocks didn’t make the cut because I had three of the same size. But they’ll work nicely being passed on to my new scrappy recruit with those stamp sets. I also have my most used inks in the Kaisercraft desk unit – a black Versafine and a Moonlight White Dew Drop ink with some little planner stamps and acrylic blocks, that I use for noting down tasks and marking off goals. 20170123_9workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypes20170123_10workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypesWhen it comes to mixed media I didn’t get rid of much here either, a dried up tube of red paint and a green paint pen got thrown out, a bottle of orange puffy paint, some clay tools I had to buy for uni and never used and some metallic media for using with dry embossed images got passed along. I would have given the kids a large bottle of blue paint too until I realized I didn’t have any small tubes of blue paint. But as soon as I restock it’ll move on out too. The only things in my accumulation of stampy stuff that saw no change were my roller stamps and my alphabet stamps. I have a total of six roller stamps and four of those are the handy October Afternoon Daily Flash Decade stamps which I use for dating all my layouts. In the Alpha stamp department, there’s three that are ear-marked for a future purge but that I do use on occasion for my Exchange Album as a matter of continuity and like my random stamps, their presence in my scrappy stuff isn’t a problem cos they don’t take up much room and I don’t need the space for anything new.20170123_7workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypes 20170123_8workspaceandcraftroomrehab_techniquetypesIt was nice to have a bit of a breather with some easy stamping discards after all the paper purging/decision-making I did in the earlier class, in fact this blog post took longer to write and edit than it took me to go through all of these supplies but next up is Craft Room Rehab: Embellishments which will certainly take a chunk of time. So I’m steeling myself for another round of purging, processing and then I might reward myself with a bit of playing with some of my rediscovered crafty stuff before I move on to any more decluttering efforts.

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Workspace and Craft Room Rehab: Joining Forces

Now it’s time to really sink our teeth in to my whole reason for participating in Workspace – the purging process. I know what I have, I know how I currently create in this space and I have my idea of my ideal crafting environment firmly front-of-mind. So let’s get into this…But wait where do I start? Marcy has a great overview of the pairing down & categorizing process and if you’re a seasoned declutterer and all you need is a bit of a nudge to get you going, by all means the next couple of portions of the class has some great ideas but unfortunately this is kind of where I think the Workspace workshop falls short for me. I know this isn’t my first craft room refresh and I’m already fairly familiar with the sort of supplies I use and have at my disposal but for this round I want to do what Marcy classes as a ‘Deep Purge’ and go through everything versus what she calls a ‘Maintenance Purge’ which is basically just making sure this part or that part is still working for you. And for that I really want to see some examples of other crafty organizing, I love nothing more than seeing other people’s spaces. How they organize specific items, the amount of stuff they have and hearing about their little tips and tricks. Sure we may not work the same, but guaranteed I’m going to pick up on a little thing here or there that I can implement in my own space. Luckily for me Big Picture Classes has recently announced the next installment of a complimentary class to Workspace that really gets into all that nitty-gritty stuff I love to peruse. Craft Room Rehab, with teacher Carson Riutta, takes you through category by category with some great ideas from Carson herself and three of her fellow crafty pals to give you a look into a bunch of different spaces, supplies and a bunch of ways to sort, store and organize them. Now I will say the class is still being released and only the first three portions are currently available Craft Room Rehab: Paper; Craft Room Rehab: Stamps & Inks; and the latest one (which just got released Monday and the one I’m most excited for) Craft Room Rehab: Embellishments. Especially if you have a large stash and a lot of supplies Carson’s approach will be extra helpful. So for the rest of my decluttering I’m pairing the wisdom of Workspace with the comprehensive coverage of Craft Room Rehab.

20170120_1workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforces20170120_2workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforces It’s the back bone of our scrappy existence and the first supply to be tackled in Craft Room Rehab our beloved paper stash. In the top photo above is my entire collection of 12×12 papers which were mostly stored on a set of stacking wire trays. Marcy reiterated in her Pairing Down portion of Workspace the common organizational advice that it’s great to empty your entire room when doing a big purge but just like her I concluded that “manageable chunks” was the way to go for me. I started my paper purge by grabbing every single piece or 12×12 paper I had and going through it. Gathering them from all the random spots they had been stowed, most of it was in the rack but I had a pack of black cardstock stuck in near my binder and boxes for collections here there and everywhere all over the room. From cardstock to lose patterned paper, paper pads to collection kits I went through every single one and managed to remove an inch and a half stack of papers that aren’t to my taste anymore or never were my style in the first place – mostly from paper pads. I chose not to go through things I’d kitted up for specific projects at this point because I’ll tackle them as their own sub-section of supplies. In the end I was able to whittle down my papers so that all of my collection kits could be stored on the wire rack including my abundance of Crate Paper goodies which were previously just floating around in a box together. I even had two whole shelves left over and finally, finally had somewhere to put my A4 papers which continually frustrate me because they have never had a proper home the entire time I’ve used this space. So that was a big win to get this purging thing off to a great start. 20170120_5workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforces20170120_6workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforcesThen I braved my Project Life cards. They were part of the original impetus for this round of craft room refreshing. I wanted to consolidate the large collection of PL boxes into a smaller system so that I could free up a draw for my new photography equipment. Honestly I didn’t think I had quite as many as a do. This one was a bit of a shock to the system. For someone who doesn’t do pocket scrapping I sure have amassed a collection. I blame Heidi… I actually own two core kits, six mini kits, five value kits and a handful of other pocket scrapping things like packs from the Reject Shop, and cut-aparts. Ideally I would love to use Marcy and Shanna’s idea of a pretty vintage crate but for now I stole a tip from Adele (aka Inkie Quill) to use cotton-bud containers to coral them and they fit just perfectly into the space I have. The first two containers hold my core kits which you’ve seen me use for staff gifts. The third one is my collection of value kits, it’s pretty much all Heidi Swapp, except for a DIY Shop Value Kit. The last container is all of the rest, I also have two full kits still in their boxes for future projects. A Wellington Childhood Edition Mini Kit to jot down either my own or my kid’s school memories and an extra Maggie Holmes kit. Not shown are two other Maggie Holmes kits that are stored with my Crate Paper embellishments because I tend to use them exclusively with all my Crate Paper goodies, sometimes as cards but more often cut up and used as extra embellishments. In the end I only got rid of two cards from one of my Reject Shop card sets and all the kraft cards from the Heidi Swapp Kraft and Foil value kit. It’s not a colour I use, and I may yet get rid of the watercolour ones too but we’ll see. I only bought it I wanted the foiled-acetate numbers for a future December Daily and it was super cheap. I like that my little collection now takes up less room and I have a draw for all that lovely photography stuff and it also gave me the idea to maybe prep a few albums for future staff gifts which would free up further space.20170120_3workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforces20170120_4workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforcesNext up was going through my smaller papers, both paper pads and scraps. The paper pads took all of five seconds because I really don’t have a bunch of those but I did end up removing two 8×8 paper pads (the kids ran off with one before I could photograph it) and a handful of 6×6 papers that are patterns I just don’t think I’ll ever use. My scraps on the other hand are kinda out of control I don’t think I’ve ever really gone through my scraps in my entire 15 years of scrapping, a piece here a piece there, maybe on a whim I’d get fed up with a colour or two and purge one A4 sleeve ( I keep them colour coded in two binders on my buffet). This time I went through every colour and got rid of all the obvious scraps, straight into the recycling. After all that paper purging though I was sorta over it, so I’m calling it done for now. I’m really only considering this a first pass on the scraps I’ll go back and do it again because there is sure to be more I can part with.20170120_7workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforces20170120_8workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforcesI also went through and grabbed anything that was in my Use It or Loose It box from the last purge I did and set them straight in the pile of giveaway papers, it is really my version of a ‘Maybe’ pile and since I haven’t ‘Used it’, it’s now time to Loose It, this time I haven’t kept any maybe’s. So yay for progress! Like I said in my original Workspace post I’ve been showing someone some of my scrappy endeavors because they expressed an interest in getting into scrapbooking. So I will probably be passing on my purged supplies to her.20170120_9workspaceandcraftroomrehab_joiningforcesMy scraproom is already feeling lighter and more organized and I am so excited to have all my 12×12 papers, especially my collections, so neatly ordered and ready for more crafting in the future. I always love this part in the decluttering process where everything has a place again and everything is in its place and now it’s time to move on to the next portion of Craftroom Rehab to tackle another group of supplies.

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Workspace: Dream Space

If your anything like me, you’re no stranger to dreaming of the perfect crafty space and Marcy has got us all creating a mood board of our Dream Space in her Big Picture Classes class, Workspace. Personally I think it is a great tool to use when coming up with your idea of heaven. It stands to reason that when you have a clear vision you’re not only more likely to make it happen but you can begin to see themes emerge that maybe you weren’t aware of to begin with. When I did my first big purge in 2013 I started a Pinterest board titled The Great Scraproom Makeover and I haven’t stopped pinning things to it since. It’s a mix of furniture, organization ideas and inspiration for the overall look of my ideal craft room. Below is one of my earlier pins and it’s a great example of having a clear vision. A common theme that runs through my board is aged furniture especially painted white, in a white room. In a crazy act of serendipity after pinning similar images to this one my husband found an old buffet & hutch in a shack on our property, a couple of coats of white paint later and my craftroom now has a very similar piece to house my crafty supplies.20170118_1workspace_dreamspaceImage Credit: www.filmphotographylocation.com

Like I just said mood boards/ inspiration boards/ vision boards call ’em what you will are great for noticing themes and subconscious ideas that your drawn to. Case in point is the blue colour of the furniture piece below. It shows up in all manner of things on my Scraproom board and in other things I pinned at about the same time. Now, I love blue but I never would have figured that I was particularly drawn to this shade until I saw it show up in a bunch of pins at the same time. 20170118_2workspace_dreamspaceImage Credit: cat-arzyna.blogspot.com.au

Here’s another fun fact for you, the image below is actually the cover image for my Great Scraproom Makeover board. I just love all the little vintage items and cubbies and the eclectic mix of containers. Likewise the  image below it for the mix of vintage trays, baskets both wire and woven. I love that they are open and accessible and that they just look like so much fun to paw through and discover all sorts of lovely things. You may or may not be surprised to know then that the two following images are of Marcy Penners creative spaces. The top one of her older space and the bottom one from 2015 of her more recent space. Promise I wasn’t trying to win points with teach, and they’re not the only pins I have of her space on my board. Clearly I just love the womans style.20170118_3workspace_dreamspace 20170118_4workspace_dreamspaceImage Credit: www.marcypenner.com

When it comes to organization I also appreciate things of a certain look. Like the fabric covered boxes below especially if they have a ruffle (that link actually takes you to a tutorial if you want to try making your own) and vintage printers trays. I cannot ocunt the number of printers trays I have pinned. I just love them for corralling all those fun little bits and pieces and they look so funky with all those teeny tiny divided sections in them.20170118_5workspace_dreamspace 20170118_6workspace_dreamspace

Image Credit: aimee-weaver.blogspot.com.au    Image Credit: raisinguprubies.blogspot.com.au

Back to that whole unconscious realizations again a couple of my recent pins have hinted at the current issues I seem to have uncovered in my previous posts. I need some form of better organization for in-progress projects and I really like this idea from Ali Edwards to have trays for things I’m working on that can be slotted away and pulled out on an as needs basis. Ideally I’d also like to confine my Project Life cards into a fun vintage tray like Shanna Noel. 20170118_7workspace_dreamspace 20170118_8workspace_dreamspaceImage Credit: aliedwards.com                         Image Credit: shannanoel.blogspot.com.au

I definitely have a particular style when it comes to my scrap space and a lot of similar themes. Vintage and reclaimed furniture & storage solutions, white wood, lots of open baskets, shallow draws for bits and bobs, and a white/turquoise-to-teal colour pallette. While my space isn’t too far off that I could certainly do with a few upgrades and add in a whole bunch more of that turquoise-to-teal in different areas.20170118_10workspace_dreamspace20170118_9workspace_dreamspaceImage Credit: vickiboutin.typepad.com                               Image Credit: liagriffith.com

Now you’ve heard all about my idea of an ideal craft space, what’s yours? Share a link in the comments to your own Pinterest boards or posts about your own ideal Workspace.

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Workspace: Project Creation

One of the things about a functioning workspace is knowing how you use it and that’s what the next few lessons in the Workspace class asked us to tackle. For me I’ve noticed that I tend to scrap one of two ways. More recently my layouts have had a bit more of a bent to scrapping by collection/manufacturer as well as doing my usual thing of scrapping just randomly from my stash. So to evaluate my scrappy style I decided to do both a collection layout and a stash layout. For my collection layout I chose to go with a page using the Pink Paislee Moonstruck collection. It met all the points of a classic collection layout for me, it was a recently acquired purchase, I was excited about the patterns and motifs and I had a variety of elements to choose from – papers, washi stickers, diecuts and puffy stickers. In fact this is the first layout I have created with this collection so the sky was the limit in what I could pick and choose from the collection. To compliment it I also added in some tissue paper, a set of vellum butterflies I picked up at the Reject Shop a little while ago and an American Crafts DIY Shop heart vellum that I purchased at the same time as the Moonstruck bits and pieces. 20170116_1workspace_projectcreationThe way I work with collections is that I don’t buy the whole thing. I only ever select my favourite papers and embellishments, stuff I know I’ll use (even with paper pads I tend to go through and remove those patterns that aren’t my style and pass them on) then I keep all the papers together in a large plastic ziplock bag. The embellishments go together in my diecut basket directly in front of where I create, until I maybe have very little left. Then they get slotted into my regular system of storing papers by colour and embellishments by type. This process makes the whole scrapping by collection thing rather effortless. Everything is close at hand and I only go seek out extras if I have something very specific in mind like the vellum butterflies & heart paper. The only way I thought I could make it even more so was by maybe storing all of the collection items together in the same ziplock bag (or box as is the case with my Crate Paper stuff) but that makes storage awkward so I’m totally fine having them separate.20170116_2workspace_projectcreationThe only issues I had with my collection layout really had nothing to do with the supplies at all. The blue shades of the butterfly paper made me think of my friends lovely beach wedding so that was a photo and a story sorted which is my most common hurdle with collection layouts. I’m excited to get in and use the things but then what is the point of just making a pretty page if I have nothing to say. Story based scrapping is one of the most important parts of scrapbooking for me. The other issues I had were that blade in the knife I use for detail work is in need of replacement so it made my cuts a bit more feathered and less refined than I’d like and that I didn’t decide to put the vellum heart border around until the very end of the layout so I had to move most things in a bit more from the edge. Even the title used some modified diecuts so that was a bit of a no-brainer too.20170116_3workspace_projectcreationClean up was a breeze because I just popped the embellishments back in the diecut basket, the leftover vellum went back in it’s plastic sleeve and onto its spot on the shelf . I used all but two of the vellum butterflies which were just sitting loosely in a draw, so they got tossed right back in where they were and my tools (knife, journaling pen) went right back into their container on my desk. No mess, no fuss, no hassle.20170116_4workspace_projectcreationFor my second layout I started with the story. I had this funny photo of my son fast asleep in the Jolly Jumper that I wanted to scrap. Aside from his suit the colours are fairly neutral so I decided to draw on the navy stripes of his onesie as my starting point for gathering supplies. First point of call for most layouts is to select my patterned paper (usually for the background) and since navy was the colour of choice that’s what I looked for first. I did notice a few papers in my blue selection that will be moving on but unfortunately my supply of navy papers is a bit on the sparse side at the moment (or else it’s all hidden in Isaac’s baby album kit of supplies, hmmm just thought of that). I had two full sheets with a predominantly navy scheme, one was paired with green stripes and I didn’t like the way it looked with the photo and the other had a clock motif on it that I wasn’t overly enthused to use with this story (and as  I realized later also, about a centimetre cut off the side from another project, so wasn’t actually a full sheet after all.) Which left me with a 1/3 piece of the stamp-edge paper and 2/3rds of this old Basic Grey distressed paper called Phlordilie which I really liked the look of when paired together. Background done. 20170116_5workspace_projectcreationMy next step in my scrappy process is to have a quick flick through of my diecuts. Now this was the part of the process that surprised me. I saw one of the dream sentiments on a Shimelle diecut/cut-apart and decided I’d use that but then instead of going for something else like stickers or a 6×6 paper or whatever else I could reach for I just started pulling out all of the ‘dream’ cut-aparts from the Shimelle Starshine collection. And while I was on a Shimelle kick I figured I’d have a look through her signature line of stickers where I found the ‘Is this for real?’ sentiment, a perfect fit for this story. Now with a predominantly monochromatic colour scheme going on I figured the only thing left to do was add in another pop of gold, a title and my journaling. Without really trying to I had in effect created a bit more of a collection/manufacturer layout than planned.20170116_6workspace_projectcreationAll told this one was a bit more challenging to put together than the collection layout. I didn’t have the ‘right thing’ for my background in my stash of supplies and had to create a work-around for my background. Instead of going for a variety of supplies like I had thought I would, I kinda went for same old, same old. I wanted the same blue & gold combo as in the ‘Is this for real?’ sticker elsewhere on the page which was do-able with another sticker from the collection that I was never going to use as-is but I couldn’t find where I had put the pack that the gold book-plate diecut came from and had to do a bit of a search to find it. (It was hiding in an old Christmas kit that hadn’t been put away). I spent forever trying to think of a title to go underneath the photo and all those Dream, Dream, Dream diecuts but in the end couldn’t think of one and didn’t like my Thicker options anyway. But… and here’s the thing, all that being said, this is my usual process. I like taking random things and turning them into something cohesive. I enjoy the challenge of digging through my supplies and taking a bunch of mismatched bits and pieces and turning them into a layout I love, especially when I can use up an entire paper or finish off a pack of stickers/diecuts/whatever. The fun is in the process as much as the accomplishment is in the finished product. Is this my favourite layout ever – no. Is it a story I wanted told – yes! Did I get to use up some stuff – yes! Was it a bunch of fun to make – absolutely!20170116_7workspace_projectcreationClean up for this one was relatively easy too. The diecuts/cut-aparts are certainly on my desk for a reason, they are my most reached for supply besides patterned paper, which makes me giddy, and the Shimelle sticker book lives in the same spot so it was only a case of popping them back in their spot. Once I’d found the book-plate I could put it back in it’s proper spot and won’t have to look for it next time I want anything from that pack. Thickers and alphabets are sorted by colour in a binder so they were easy to put away and anything else I used got stuck on and back in it’s spot as I crafted.20170116_8workspace_projectcreationSo my take-aways from creating these projects surprised me. They had very little to do with creating individual layouts because collection kit or stash dive the results are pretty much the same. I reach for the same types of supplies most every time, they’re in good locations, stored in suitable spots, easy to find and put away (for the most part) and in the end I get a story told and a pretty page done, while I enjoy the process. Which is ultimately why I love and adore this hobby. What I did conclude however was that I have far, far too many on-the-go projects in process. The thing that got me most annoyed was not being able to find something in it’s spot because I’d put it in a kit and hadn’t put it back, also the fact that I didn’t think about looking in a kit for some navy paper until after the fact. Which tells me I need to finish some stuff and not start another large project until I’ve cleared a few of the old ones. I knew from the get go that my space could do with a bit of a purge just to free up some space and return some order because I was feeling like I was heading to capacity with my amount of supplies but my organization systems are actually working for me. I also realized that there are a lot of things I don’t reach for and it’s not for lack of proximity either. I cannot even remember the last time I used a rub-on and my stamps rarely see the light of day and both of those are only a spin in my chair away in the buffet & hutch where most supplies are stored but the enamel dots which sit on my desk in my little decorative lantern came as more of an after-thought for the stash layout and they’re within arms reach. So another takeaway is that I need to challenge myself to use a range of supplies on a regular basis. Such a valuable process to evaluate before I really dive into the purging/organization stage.

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Workspace: Knowing What Ya Got

To get where your headed you’ve gotta know ‘what ya got’. That is exactly my starting point for the Workspace workshop I’m doing this month over at Big Picture Classes. Being the Planner Girl that she is Marcy Penner has generously put together a set of checklists for her class that fit nicely into a planner. Which as it turns out is rather convenient for me. I’m a bit slow to get on the whole Memory Planner thing but I have had my lovely Heidi Swapp Memory Planner waiting in the wings for about a year now and I decided it was about time I broke it out and used it. I’ve got big plans for this year and I always find that when I consistently use a planner/diary of some description and write things down I get so much more done. I am so much more disciplined and productive and I feel so much more accomplished. So it’s a win, win. Plus it’s just super fun having something creative to do, to get you excited for class.20170113_1workspace_assessingwhatyagotAfter going through the first checklist I pin-pointed a few things that need work in my scraproom. First up I got a wonderful gift of some new photography lights for Christmas (now all I gotta do is learn how to use them) but now I need a place to store them. Sitting out on my floor and having my baby boy climb all over the boxes is not exactly my idea of good storage. Seriously that kid wants to climb on everything these days and my precious new lighting is just not cool, little man. Nor is having them permanently set up a good idea for obvious reasons of three crazy, energetic boys crashing into my space on a regular basis. Secondly while I may not have an over abundance of Project Life/Pocket Scrapping supplies it has grown in the last couple of years since I did my last space revamp. I need to find a new streamlined way of storing them. The number of cards vs. the number of PL boxes is out of whack. I’ve been using the boxes they came in up til this point but now the number of boxes has outgrown the space I have and the number of cards in them has decreased significantly so it makes sense that they need to be consolidated into something smaller. The third thing I want to tackle is memorabilia. I did have a good system in place but I’ve outgrown that too and to put it bluntly I simply have too much of the stuff so I need to go through it again and deal with that. Probably the most obvious thing is that my room is just full of junk that doesn’t belong here and projects that need finishing, besides that a good ol’ fashioned de-stash is in order to get rid of surplus and stuff that I don’t think I’ll use.20170113_2workspace_assessingwhatyagotJust so you know what I’m working with, this below was the state of my scraproom in the early hours of the 1st of January. Photography equipment everywhere, the epic craftermath of post December Daily supplies and a few bits of miscellaneous, alright a bunch of miscellaneous scrappy supplies & projects, that were the result of not putting things back ever and sharing my love for all things scrappy to hopefully bringing someone into this scrappy world of ours. I might have to keep you posted if they do become a scrappy convert… If I even so much as thought of using a supply in December it was probably still sitting on my desk. What you don’t see is a bunch of sewing supplies under my desk that need attention too. 20170113_3workspace_assessingwhatyagotHave you got any scrappy organization goals you want to tackle in the next few months? What works for you when it comes to organizing – all in purge or bit by bit?

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