Friday, April 27, 2007

Carol M Sock it to Me Rock Room Review

Carol M has sent me her photos for our Sock it to Me Rock Review process.....Don't you love these?

I see a LOT going on in this large space. You mention having most of it to do what you want with. Most people will envy that space you have. I see a lot of furnishings in the room. Lots of plastics. Here, there, under, over...this is the case of the organized--but overwhelming--furniture and plastics! I see at least 13 groupings of plastic organizers throughout the room. It looks like each type of item might have a good home in a drawer. And that is good and they are labeled--that is very good! But there are so many units of plastic drawers and bins that it is starting to look distracting.

I don't know the exact floorplan and I estimated some of it...but what I propose is a BIG change around!! (Do whatever parts appeal to you and as always what fits the room and WORKS for you.)Unify by function: You have two main areas in this very large room--we will call them the Family Room and the Scraproom/Workspace. You want each space to shine.


Be sure you divide the purposes of this big room so it is clear what functions where and for what purpose. Big spaces like yours can look like a hodgepodge if we are not careful about delineating purposes to specific areas. Let's make the family room special. Can we flip it over nearer the fireplace? Create a conversation and recreation space where the big TV, sofa, coffee table area and fireplace are all grouped together in one half or 1/3 of the room. I think you have already started to create a conversation area with the tv. Now let's include that fireplace in the triangle. That might mean moving the sofa to face the other direction at a 45% angle to the fireplace? You can play with the layout.

Perhaps get a smaller coffee table for easier trafic flow in that part of the room? If that is a working fireplace, turn the sofa at least part way to face the fireplace as a focal point and place the TV off to one side or in the other corner near the fireplace? Make it so the tv is a secondary focal point still also visible from the sofa. Be sure there is no clutter in that part of the room at all because you do have a lot of seashore themed items you are showcasing in the family room area.

Group the nautical items, try to cluster them togther more by type. 3 or 5 lighthouses together in a small group look like you inteneded it more as a design statement than having three of them spread across the room from each other. Better yet, if you can get rid of one thing in 5 of your sea-themed decor items, you will feel much more focused on the nicer pieces you keep. Then the room design will actually become more focused.

Keep the best, fling the rest to a good home. Same with your nautical artwork --can you choose the largest open wall (after re-arranging the furniture) and place 5 pieces of art- the ships wheel, navy picture, and big map or ship artwork on the SAME wall? It will look much more intentional. Remember that for art it is Big walls=Big statements or pieces, Small walls=Small groupings of peices.That keeps things coordinating yet in SCALE on the wall. Try to keep the nautical pictures and items on the walls in the conversational sofa/tv/fireplace area of the room. The narrow wall where the ship wheel is now at would be perfect for hanging that flag! (Do you mean to hang it stars down -symbol of international distress?) If you can, keep the walls open in your workspace for scrap-related items on some of your wooden small shelving.


This part of the large room will take up 1/2 to 2/3 of the room. I am not sure of the actual floorplan of your large room. And I am not sure if you like to turn to watch tv or face the wall when scrapping. I like to face the tv (and also the family if they are on the couch instead of the wall). Assuming you prefer looking at your family or the tv instead of the walls, we want to arrange the family room space accordingly. Is it possible to flip the workspace area to the opposite side of the room? That might allow the sofa to view the Fireplace at a right angle?

Either way, let's create a scrapspace if possible where you can have a large U shaped work area all around your swivel chair and still feel like you are part of the family room events. I do this in my family room by placing my a work table behind the sofa which faces the big tv. This camoflauges the 'bad' side of the sofa in the large room and the 'backside' of the wooden work desk at the same time! In your case let's place the smaller wooden desk (now by the flag in corner) and move it behind the sofa.

Give yourself a completely cleared-off spot to do a single project or layout kit and watch tv with the family. After you place the CLEARED OFF wooden desk behind the sofa, you can arrange the various worktables and desks around you in a basic U behind you --or even a circle-- along the walls. Make sure you have a good swivel chair. I am not sure if you can clear out a blue and white cabinet or blue and white hutch so you can put some of those paper storage tubs into it behind doors. I made a scale model of Carol's big room to see how I could visualise a change. I came up with a plan and sent her what I came up with for changes. She had so much furniture in a small space it was a challenge to visualise it and often making a scale model will help SOOOO much!

I seriously think Carol, you need to lose one desk or table. I vote or getting rid of the lesser quality table or desk in the room. You decide which one. That big blue and white open shelf hutch might still stay in the 'family room' part of the room but only if you need the knicknacks to stay where they are. If you can weed out one thing in 5, you could get by with showcasing items on coffee table, mantle and small shelving. If we can, let's re-purpose the open hutch by taking out all the nick knacks and moving the hutch to the 'workroom' part of the room for other uses. But I really think you can make it all fit without having a cluttery look if you redo some of your storage and drawers. Some of your plastic drawers are really only half full.

Make sure the items are stored by type and that you don't give them a bigger drawer than they really need. Start with the largest tools and items and put them in the largest spaces. Work your way down and you will see that you can maybe get rid of a few plastic drawer units too! You can also combine simular 'types' of items in one big drawer but no wasted "airspace" in those large drawers please!You should have an inspirational art piece or two of your own on the workroom side of the room too. That can also be seashore related-- but be sure it is something YOU love and not just 'in theme'. I suggest again grouping smaller pieices of art in a cluster for impact.

You need to set up a "cutting station" but NOT on your desk spaces. Try it on the tall white plastic cabinet with doors. Your sizzix and sizzlet and dies can all go on/in that space if the cabinet has a hard top and it looks like it does. Otherwise use that cabinet top for the sewing machine. Make sure your sewing maching is facing you and in usable space and plugged in and ready to go on pages as well as for fabric sewing. It deserves a desk or table space of some kind even if it is small.

Unify with color. I see a blue and white scheme and that is a good start. Work in future toward changing out the blue, black, grey and other plastic bins for WHITE to be more uniform. Each time the eye sees a color change it reads as BUSY in a room as full as this. But first see if you can 'downsize' your need for plastics and bins. Put all the paper into the hutches or cabinets or UNDER the table. Try to take out a 3 drawer plastic unit (the black one?) for good.Hope this helps!

For our readers, please do let me know what you think by commenting below :)

And thank you CAROL for being brave enough to share your room with us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sock it to Me Rock Karen K's room review

Sock it to Me Rock Karen K's Room:

Yeah! We have ANOTHER Karen who wants a room review! Karen K here it is!

Overall, you have a wonderful open space and a wonderful start on your organization. You have labeled most items and have lots of bins and cubbies and drawer units. There is no shortage of storage! We just need to streamline and maximise it as well as make sure it is SAFE for your darling toddler. I will talk about each section of your space as we stroll through the four photos shown here.

Photo 1 with Table, Chair and Ott Light (seen above)

You have a good chair and a great light so you are off to a great beginning. You also have a nice long table here and the trash can is handy. You have some nice black storage accordian boxes under the desk. Think about bringing all the 'prettier' boxes up to eye level like this and moving out of sight all the 'oddball' stacks, bags, and crates. Be sure that every single thing in your long plastic drawer units is something you love and will USE. Sort. Sort. Sort. You know I am going to say this, but clear off the table. Keep it all clear except for those basic tools you use daily and the layout/page kit or project you are currently working on.. I am seeing a lot of items here on the table that you probably don't use daily. The hatbox, coluzzle binder, and three ? paint caddies could find new homes. Try to use the blank space on the wall over the table for a combination of narrow shelving for your paints and perhaps some inspirational artwork. If you have a favorite artist, place an inspirational piece.

You mentioned that your hubby built the shelving on the other side o the room. Have him make another set for this wall too. I think that would be awesome! A section of this new shelving could be 4 inches deep for all those paints shelved in rainbow order! I see you have an interest in family history. Be sure to make a section of your new shelving for your software, magazines, notes and research.

Photo 2: with purple box and black drawer units.

You may be robbing yourself of storage and horizontal workspace by not putting things away. You don't want to have to work on the floor and really there is no reason to have to do that! You have lots of horizontal workspaces. Clear them and use them. Clutter is not a good look. Put things away right away. Why? One reason is SAFETY. Your toddler deserves a tidy safe place for his mommy to work. I spotted 9 plastic shopping bags within his reach in this set of 4 photos. (Not totes, Not flexible containers.) Those kinds of shopping bags can harm a child. Let's keep things put everything away as you bring them into the house.

I love the fact that you have a whole bank of drawer units. Do you want to switch them from black to white? Above this whole area, you could use some shelving or some inspirational art. Try your fave artist William Bouguereau. His style would go very well with a dignified rustic 'country' decor or a vintage chic decor.

Photo 3 toddler and scraprack

This photo gave me the most to review. First off, darling tot in the foreground! :) I think you need to add some framed big black and white photos of the same darling kiddo and any others to this space. :) Great inspiration and ART.

I love that the Scraprack has it's own table. Make sure it doesn't have to compete for space with the white drawer units. Place those units elsewhere--perhaps on your new on-the-wall shelving. Clear out the corners and small crawl spaces of any baggies and misc--again for safety as well as tidyness. Store larger items there that you rarely use in those little spots . Place the clock on the wall. As mentioned pick up and put away all the plastic bags. Consider moving up all the pretty accordian boxes, orange binders, and nice photo boxes to eye view and the heaviest items down to lower shelves. The phone cord looks very long and a bit of a hazzard for tripping and toddler play.... I wonder if you can hang the phone on the wall or swap out or shorten the cord? Put away the Luvs diapers or if you like to keep them handy in the room, find a nice basket or bin for them. Green folders into a file cabinet or drawer.

Clean out each shelf and each box. You started to label the clear boxes on th eupper shelving but you didn't use your pretty papers, sticker letters or stamps! Spruce up your labeling. :) Have fun with it and make them pretty! Create a tape and mailer station for your postal needs if you want one. Store all your shipping tapes and Priority boxes together. Sort your magazines and idea books out and if you want to sort magazines by season use that navy blue 4 slot unit on the top shelf.

Photo 4 pegboard

Counter clutter alert! Let's take care of that. You mentioned that inside the white cabinet is where you keep your page kits. I would decide on a favorite horizontal space to sit at for your 'desk' like we saw in photo 1 and make sure that you store your page kits closer by that desk so you can grab one and do them easily. Your pegboard is a good storage device and I think if you move all items up about 8 inches you will get almost a whole other row of hanging storage on it. Lay it all out to best use of space --just as you would a page layout! No wasted inches! Add a long narrow shelf or rack if you can to the pegboard area also-- to get the flower bottles up of the counter.

On the pegboard layout, place your ten most used items in lower section and your ten least used items up along the top row --way up. Are all your fibers and ribbons together? I bet you have more than show on the pegboard.On the shelves I see lots of bottles of ?glitter or other items in a flat wooden box. Consider placing that on the wall or using a spice rack so you can see your items. Unused albums UP, lightweight items up, and easy to grab items UP high.

Various supplies like in your clear labeled boxes come DOWN a shelf so you can grab them. Remember let your pretty storage containers SHOW since you paid for the look! Store things in rows. But try not to stack two or three deep on one shelf if you can help it. No dead space. Make sure the light fixture has a shade. :) The Xyron can move to other shelving. Set up one end of the counter or the other for your Sizzlet and Sizzix die cutting. Store the dies near that. Once the horizontal surfaces are clear, consider adding under counter lighting or one or two chic table lamps. On your desk you have room for two small table lamps for better spot lighting.

You have a wonderul large space and with a few changes you will really have a SUPER space. I think if your hubby makes you another shelving unit or two with mixed height shelving you will be able to get much more off the horizontal suraces and up to the vertical spaces. You will love not having to fight the clutter. And it will be a more peaceful, inspirational space with safety in mind for the little one! Make sure that when you change out items, you keep your goal 'style' in mind. If you like white work toward that scheme. No more black. No more clutter. Get inspired by art.

Thank you Karen K for taking the plunge and sending me your room to review. I enjoyed it and hope this will help.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sweet Teen and Tot Pages for Debbie H

Debbie Hayrack ordered these cute high school and Disney princess pages. Didn't Jennifer do a lovely job on the dolls? They are made to match photos of the girls outfits. Love how they all turned out and now they are on their way to Debbie's albums! Enjoy!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sock it to Me Rock: Karen S's Room

Sock it to Me Rock: Karen S's Room: We have another room review for you this week!
Thank you to Karen S for being brave enough to take on the room review with me. I love helping our Scrapper's Challengers out with these reviews.
Here is my advice for Karen S in this room.

I like the openness of this room. I love that you have an inspirational art pieces on the walls and several work surfaces. You seem to keep a clear desk with most-used tools handy. Good job!

I would move the Ansel Adams art piece and the other two (lighthouse?) pictures from the photo below as well as the french board all into one area over your main workspace centralized inspiraton. Family photos and the seal poster can go over your secondary workspace for inspiration. Even out what is on the french board with the nothingness on the other bulletin board. :) Or better yet take down the empty board and place your family photos right there at eye level in frames on the wall. This will free up other wall space for perhaps the bear collection. (see below)

What I would change is having the plastic storage bins visible under the tables. Skirt off those tables with a nice fabric. Open some space up for your feet and knees under those tables i you sit at them to work. Move those pretty photo boxes UP onto a shelf were they are visible. I also see some "memorabilia drift" crawling up the walls. Ribbons, disney ornaments, poems, mardi gras beads, nametags, etc can go on a bulletin board..not just any spare nail.

I would move your super tall plastic towers right next to the bookcase. That will make it less 'sky scrapers' in the room. Same with the white units by the TV set below. More all the white plastics together and make them all same final height if you can. It will look more uniform (ie. like you meant it) and less random. Always stack simular tubs together.

Ah! Animal drift......what is that wire rack of animals at the top of this photo? Remove the teddy bears, bunnies, dolls, and cuddly items from the work area if you have another space in the home for them. I am getting a mixed vibe here. Is this sophisticated (ie Ansel Adams) work area for showcasing stuffed collectables? Or for scrapbooking? I am not saying get rid of them from the entire space. Just make them look like they BELONG. See how many of them you have here, there, and everywhere?? At least 50 that are showing in these pics.... They are even hanging off the lamp? and sitting on the tv set. Weed some of them out and share them with someone. Estimate some shelf space. Coral them either all in the wooden bookcase you have or get a nice wooden shelf on the wall for them ALL TO SIT together inside the shelf or bookcase--not on top. Grouping a collection is best for impact and design. It will look more like you have an intended collection.

I love that your drawer units look labeled. About the family photos, I would place them in a less busy (visually) place than competing with the tv screen. How about on the top of the bookcase or on walls above the desk spaces ? Bins off the floor. Kleenex box over to the desk area. Plastic tubs put away. Don't hang things on the doorknob. :)

I think you have a great area. Just spruce it up a bit and pull it together so it looks focused and planned.

Thanks Karen S for having us review your room!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Mom & Me" Accordian Altered Book and Case

This wonderful altered project is an accordian book and matching case for sale this week on ebay. Wonderful for Mother's Day with 23 spaces for photos.

Click to enlarge any photo below.

Details of this accordian book are:
Mom and Me scrapbook in accordian style with a beautiful pink, green, burgundy, brown, and gold color scheme. Amazing altered case with vintage 1920's metal rose and bakelite button-handle. Cover has a romantic old world feel with a map and language motif and the words Adored and Loved.This accordian book measures 4.75inches by 6inches closed and 60 inches long when opened. It is extra long with a total of 24 side. That means 23 spaces for 4x6 inch photos. Great for a Mother's Day gift or just to keep those special photos of you and your mom or you and your child. Pink ribbon holds the album on the inner right side of the box. The left side of the case has a gold and cream rose paper pocket for a personal note and says "from the heart". Pages include brads, paperclips, tags, tear art, hinges. tags, photo turns, slide plates, ribbon, staples, inking, pockets and mini library cards, and pop ups. The hard cardboard book-style case can stands alone with no wobbling and is a great item for display. I love this piece and hate to selll it but I intended it to sell --so away it goes! Lovely, lovely piece. Payment by PAYPAL please. Buyer pays shipping of $4.20 Priority Mail.
Ebay auction
Thanks for looking!