Thursday, August 19, 2010

Watercolor Trio

A while ago I had to make a bunch of thank you cards for a gift package.  I knew I wanted something simple, but elegant.  Something that would be easy to make a lot of and not want to rip my hair out.

This is what I came up with:
The base size is a standard A2 size - 5 1/2 x 4 1/4.  I used my scor pal to make the embossed border, and out of everything that was the most time consuming out of everything.

cardstock: kraft, white
ink: SU craft white, SU classic crumb cake
stamp set: SU Watercolor Trio

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Organization: Paper Scraps

Like many things I have organized and re-organized, my paper scraps were one of those things that I just couldn't seem to find something that worked for me.  Whenever I would mat a photo or use a sheet of paper for a title I didn't want to just waste the rest and throw it away.  At one point I tried throwing all my scraps in a bin, but quickly grew tired of trying to dig through the pile of paper to find the color I needed.  I then tried drawers, but at that time there were only the smaller sizes and I scrap 12x12 mostly so some of my scraps would be 12" in length and they wouldn't fit in the drawers.

Then came the sterilite 12x12 drawers!

1 set consists of 3 drawers so I bought 2 of them to stack on top of each other.  I then assigned each drawer a specific color

My drawers are divided into these colors:
1. red, yellow, orange
2. green, blue
3. pink, purple, peach
4. white, cream, and gray
5. black, brown
6. metallics, misc., and patterns

Now I can fit even my 12" scraps and whenever I am looking for a certain color I can just go to that drawer.  Before I cut a whole piece of paper I look in my scrap drawers to see if I have something that may work instead.

I did this a long time ago and am too lazy to change things around, but if I were to categorize my colors today I probably would do it a bit differently.  I probably would put reds and pinks together since some of them can overlap in color and some I have a hard time deciding if it's more on the red side or the pink side.

This is the way I store almost all of my cardstock and patterned paper scraps.  The only scraps I don't stick in these drawers is my Stampin' Up cardstock and Papertrey Ink cardstock.  I keep those scraps with my full sheets in a different system.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grammy Countdown Calendar

Still haven't had a chance to make anything new, so here is the countdown calendar I made this summer for the trip to see my mom in NC.  She lives on Ocracoke Island which is known for the pirate Blackbeard and that's where the pirate theme comes in, along with the beachy theme since Ocracoke is part of the Outer Banks.

The colors I used were two of the retired colors from Stampin' Up! Taken with Teal and Cameo Coral, plus black and white.  The orange was Bazzill cardstock, but I don't know the specific names of the shade.  The grid, title, days of the week, and numbers are all from Designer's Calendar cartridge and the fish border, beach/sea accents, and pirate cuts are all from Life's a Beach.  For the fish border I used my Gypsy to connect the border together to make it the length I wanted, but to keep it the same height, I think it was 1" or 1 1/2" -  I can't remember.  The little red car was to signify my husband's car and that was the day we would be leaving.  I think that cut came from Going Places, but for some reason I didn't write that one down!

For the countdown circles I used Life's a Beach cartridge and selected the tag feature.  I think I did this before the hide contour feature was added, so I just cut out a bunch of the seagull tags and cut off the little loop on top that would make it a tag.  At night before bed my sons would take turns and put one seagull over the day that just ended and that way they could see how long they had left before we left to see their Grammy.

I enjoy doing these calendars for my sons and making them all different depending on what we are doing.  This fall we will be going to the Smokey Mountains  and I am hoping to do a calendar for that trip as well, maybe with a woodsy, nature theme!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Evolution of Cartridge Storage

It felt like a never ending quest: find the right storage solution for my Cricut cartridges.  I don't have a whole room to myself, I only have a craft space.  I am always reorganizing my things, trying my best to fill all my supplies in a tiny little space.  Sometimes I even feel like I am organizing and re-organizing more than I am crafting!

It started out simple enough when I had just a few cartridges.  I had them on a shelf in their original boxes behind where I sit:

Then my cartridges somehow multiplied and outgrew the shelf.  I had this space on the side of my table that my husband built me and it seemed like such wasted space.  We had some leftover foam core board from the ink pad holder the same wonderful husband built me, so he also built me a shelf for my cartridges to store them in that wasted space:

All was fine and dandy for a while, but as you can see, the bottom kinda gave out and somehow my cartridges multiplied again!!  They just keep doing that! ;)  So I again ran out of space.  This began my latest search for a way to store my cartridges.

Now, I am picky when it comes to the way I store certain things.  I know how I work, and I know what would get on my nerves in terms of using something!  So when looking for ideas I had certain criteria:
  • It didn't necessarily have to stay in the original boxes, but everything had to stay together: handbook, overlay, and cartridge.  There are a lot of wonderful ideas on how to store handbooks/overlays together and then cartridges seperately.  However, for me, I knew this wouldn't work because I didn't want to have to go to one place to grab the handbook or overlay, and then open up something else for the cartridge.  Also, even though I have a Gypsy, I still use my cartridges in the machine and wanted ti keep everything together.
  • I had the idea that my new storage would involve keeping the cartridges in alphabetical order, but the storage had to be something I could easily add new cartridges in alphabetically, without having to move everything around all over again
  • Last, I wanted the new storage to be something where I could store the seasonal and solution cartridges along with the regular cartridges.  I hated having those types seperate from the others because I would forget about them and hardly used them.
So the search began....  I did google searches, and message board searches, and ended up on You Tube trying to find videos on organizational ideas.  And that's where I found it!  So, keep in mind, I am not the one you came up with this idea, but once seeing it, I knew it would fit what I was looking for perfectly!

While searching You Tube, I found this video, which also led me to her fabulous blog you can find at Scrappin with My Bug.  She apparantly go her idea from this video!  So now you can add me to the list of those who've adapted the idea!  Here is a picture of my system:

I bought the Clip it Up Mini by Simply Renee, but didn't get the upper tier because I didn't think I would need it just yet.  HA!  Silly me!  I should know by now how these cartridges love to multiply!  I also bought the zip top bags in size 5x8.  I created the labels with the cartridge names in Publisher and made it so the name would be on both sides of the bag.  I also color coded the labels as well to help identify what type of cartridge they were at a quick glance:
  • Shape cartridges: blue
  • Font cartridges: orange
  • Classmates: green
  • Solutions: pink
  • Seasonal: yellow
  • Licensed: red
  • Lite: purple
  • Cake (which I don't have any yet): white

I really love this system because it seems to fit each of my criteria I was looking for.  I have 50 cartridges on this one clip it up and they are kinda smooshed in there, so I know I will have to get the upper tier for any more cartridges.  I'm so happy I finally got this project it's off to the next project - stamp organization!
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