Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paper Stash Storage Solutions: 1- 12 inches of paper

Your paper storage units should suit YOUR needs and YOUR paper storage style.

Imagine this:
Two people who sit down side by side at a crop party. Soon they will start talking about tool and paper storage. Pretty soon, one will want what the other one has. It all sounds so good --and it is working for her companion. But when she goes out to buy it, and she takes it home, it might be all wrong. Why?? Because those two people will NOT need exactly the same storage solutions! So how do you know what to invest in? And yes, paper storage is an investment. You don’t want to waste money or TIME. Spend your time and money on solutions that are great for YOU!

How much paper do you have? Are you happy with your storage units?
How do you plan on going about using it?
Can you find a specific paper you need in less than 5 minutes?

Choose containers and units that appeal to your sense of d├ęcor style AND your real storage needs. Don’t be fooled by cute shapes or new prints. No matter how cute, an accordion box 6
inches deep won't help you if you have 7 feet of paper that needs a home! Horizontal open rack shelving won't help you if you have a lot of dust in your climate. You need closed storage of some sort, dust covers, or cupboards. Keeping 5 feet of paper at your feet just won't work if you only have 3 feet of desk and storage space!

Sometimes the scrapbooking bug hits and you KNOW this is a hobby you will truly love. Even if you are a beginner, you should consider right now how your storage needs will grow. A growing system should be something you can place on walls or shelves on in a cabinet.

What to choose?!?!? Read on. :)

First I will ask about the VOLUME of paper stash you have.

How much paper you have will determine how much storage you need. I presume you have already purged it out so you are only keeping papers you love. Just keep papers that you will truly use on layouts and projects. Get rid of the stuff you won't use. Then pick up a ruler and measure what is left. We measure it so we know how much storage to get. Space is a finite measurable thing in your home. Measure the paper stash so you know how much storage room you need at any one time.
For the guide below, do not count the shelving or racks themselves. Just measure your paper! Include vellums, mulberries, 8.5x11 and 12x12, pattern and solid. Include page kits and club shipments. This is the stash that you will use and love. You need a prime storage unit system for it all that fits within the specific space you have designated for a work area. Let's figure it out step by step.

NOTE: Before you purchase items look at the listed dimensions on the product pages. Most vendors are happy to supply the specs. Reading the specs blurb on the product page will save you any headaches later! Buying a rolling tote to shove in the closet when company comes will not work if you buy one that is wider than the custom closet door frame! Don’t laugh! This has happened to readers more than once.

Determine how much paper you have and then read the blog entry with solutions for your level (in red). Within that post, you will find (in blue) several options for the way that YOU scrap most often. This will help you narrow down your storage choices.

Be sure to read all the blog entries in this Paper Stash Storage Solutions series by Rockester for more solutions and everyday practical tips.

* You only have a little paper: 1 to 12 inches *

(If it was stacked all in one pile you'd have less than 12 inches)
You may just be really good at efficient buying. You buy as you need it. Or, you may just be starting out as a beginner. Either way, a big stockpile is not your thing right now. Hurray for you. This should be fairly simple. Choose below as to HOW you most often scrap--and how large your space is. These storage ideas are just illustrations and recommendations. Make your space work for YOU. You can do this!

Small Stash: Scrap primarily at Home and have a Small Work Space:
First off, carve out a space for your hobby no matter how small. Use some shelving or pegboard to go UP that wall above your desk. If you choose shelving, make sure it is deep enough to hold jars, tools, and books. You will need every inch eventually. Start with something you like. Make it cute. If your workspace is going to be an eyesore to the rest of the room, consider hiding it all behind a padded or a soji screen. You can use the back of it for pinning items inspirations and tools where no one else can see. I have pegboards all around my room and love the fact I can hang shelves or pegs--either one. And I can change it around.

Clear Pegboard: (so your wall paint color still shows through)--with pink or clear hooks

Now for the actual paper storage. You don't have a lot of paper and scraps so you can easily rearrange, move and even carry most of your supplies:

Binders and Binder Carriers:PaperPacker Binder

Croppin’ Binder:

Accordian files: Some have handles and some do not have handles. This one sits on the desk or shelving and can be used with or without hanging folders.

Croppin' Companion Cube Box for 12x12 hanging files with Four dividers

Rolling totes do double duty for scrappers in small spaces. Not only do they travel out to crops but they can roll under a table at home. Most have built in 12x12 paper file folders eliminating the need to buy separate paper file units.

How about a hot blue one! (It’s on my personal wish list ‘cause its my fave color!!)

And a tote with a pretty black and white pattern on it?

When you just have a few inches of paper and a few tools you can fit them all in one bag. Many styles of the jumbo rolling totes have lots of pockets for any tools your heart desires! They can get a little heavy when fully loaded but are great for using at home. Just shove them away out of sight in hidden places when company comes!

Metal Carts:

A metal all purpose rolling cart (above) will also serve the same function at home. Just it tuck away when not in use. Use it with some great vertical storage on top. These work best on on hard vinyl and tile flooring because of the casters.

Vertical storage: This style is space efficient and holds you paper upright on end. You can go clear, tan (nice to alter), or black. Memory Dock and Karen Foster also offers other colors on this link too.
Clear vertical storage with removable sub divider compartments -I like the idea of the subdivider so you can just pull a smaller segment of papers at a time

Plain Clear Plastic Cropper Hopper paper holder: 12x12 seen above
But the BRILLIANT thing is that this clear one from Cropper Hopper comes ALSO in an 9x9 size for those smaller papers that are becoming so popular and we don't want to get crushed iwth our larger sheets. Someone was using their brain muscles that day! :)

Tan hardboard Cropper Hopper Shelf Its. I think these would be fun to decorate!

Black Advantus paper holder-Classy!

You have a little more room to Crop at Home:
File cabinet and 12x12 filing cube Systems:
Even if you have a small stash, you may want something more substantial and furniture-like for looks or for stash growth. Do you want a bigger furniture piece with everything in one footprint? Most large armoire desks only take up 2 feet deep x 4 foot wide x 6 feet tall. It’s an all in one solution that might work if you want to make the investment.

Maple Lane by EK Success seen here (at bottom of link page) under Organization and Storage furnishings. Email about availability.

Scrap-eze - Hanging File Storage

Horizontal Storage:
Plan ahead. The floor alone will not be enough space for long. Start a solution that will grow with you.

Clear stacking trays:
If you have a little more room, these clear wonders make paper retrieval FAST! They are really versatile as they can sit on a desk, a wall shelf, or on the floor with the separate wooden base. They can also sit completely flat or at an angle for better viewing depending on the style of base you get. Plus you can add more or take some off as you need.

Overall Goals:
Your goal is not to stockpile paper but to use it.

The best way to keep your stash is up to you. Determine how much you have, your working methods, and your decor style needs. All in all, it is up to you to determine just what paper stash storage will work best for you. Use these guidelines. See what options you like best. Put your personal style and creativity into your space. There are so many wonderful choices and options available. Have fun with it! Go ahead and Organize that paper stash so you can FIND it and USE it!

Stay tuned soon to this blog for the next set of solutions for those who have between 12 and 24 inches of stash! :)


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The "STOP and Drop 8" Method of De-Cluttering

Need an aggressive method of purging your home of unwanted clutter? Tired of the build up from decades of household crap?

There is an exercise I recommend. I do it sometimes when organizing
my stuff and other people's items. I call it the "STOP and Drop 8" method. I just did this with my friend Judy P's on friday with her. She is on oxygen and needed my help. Here is what we did.

A STOP sign has 8 sides. So we use the number 8 here as a benchmark number.

Take everything out of the drawer or closet or whereever.

In this example we have the spice rack in Judy's kitchen. Judy had about 35 different spice bottles in one cabinet. they were falling out and spilling when the door was opened. A couple klobbered me on the head when I went to make us lunch. :) Laughing, she gave me the go -ahead to consolidate for her because she can't reach up and do it. She had duplicates and emptys
and all kinds of herbs and spices. Some looked pretty old and some were brand new.

I said Judy, let's STOP and do this together.
Stop and Think first. Obviously, toss the empty ones out. Yes. Toss 8 if you can. And
anything really outdated and stale. Eww . Obvious. Toss 8 more if you can.

STOP and think of the ones remaining and usable--what can be
consolidated? That is pretty obvious too. Can we consolidate 8? Yes. we found several that were the same herb and in half-bottles that could be blended.

Ok Stop, What EIGHT do you absolutely keep? Because a stop sign has 8 sides we
say keep 8. Which ones --for whatever your preferences-- are essential to
keep? Her family loves a certain style of cooking. So her top 8 are different than mine. That's ok. She needs to keep HER choices for top 8!
So we tucked 8 back in the basket to keep.

STOP and toss eight more items if you can. If you don't use them, don't like them, they look off somehow....toss 8.

Stop and keep 8 more. Then stop and toss 8 more. And on and on.

I did this in my sock drawer and in my plastic cups and in several of
my yarn baskets. The STOP 8 system can work in many rooms and many

Keep 8 things and then Toss 8 things over and over throughout any room.

It is aggressive. More aggressive than the 1 in 5 that I also do often at my
house. But it sounds like you might need the "STOP and Drop 8" for some things
and the 1 in 5 for others.

You can do this. But you have to get the resulting declutter items OUT of the house right away. :)

Oh yeah and Judy and I went from 35 spice jars down to 16. Pretty good progress for 15 minutes work. And she STILL had every single spice she really needs for her style of cooking! Plus, she was so happy not to have that accumulated clutter hitting her on the head every time she opened the cupboard!! :)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1000 pages a Year!?? Yes!

100 pages a month?
1000 or MORE pages a year?

Yes it is true. :) 1000 12x12 scrapbook pages a year....that means I usually average 100 pages a month or more. And not bad ones either! LOL

2000- 707 pages
2001- 487 pages
2002 - 1202 pages
2003- 1321 pages
2004- 1304 pages
2005-1172 pages
2006-1326 pages
2007-1358 pages

For the last 5 years I have averaged over 100 a month. that makes well over 1000 a year! How do I get over 100 pages a month? I think it is a combination of learned tricks over the last 15 years as a scrapbooker and paper arts/scrapbooking teacher.

These rates are do-able for many people. Not everyone...but many more people can do this than currently THINK they can! Getting pages/books done is a combination of things I do that add up to the total package when scrapping. here are my top 15 tips.

I begin with a fundamental NEED to get my photos (and my heritage photos) documented and out of magnetic albums and old acidic environments as soon as possible. Motivation is truly a key. Time IS a factor. Don't think you can dally here. In this one aspect, this is not a leisurely hobby. Those photos need out of those bad environments as soon as possible. The oldest photos need to be documented as soon as possible. You don't have the luxury of dallying 45 minutes over 13 brown background paper choices when you have over 1000 photos sitting in acidic conditions. Pick a nice one and move on. :)

You will not last forever and neither will your knowledge. So I guess I start with a MOTIVATION to go as fast as I can and still enjoy the hobby and create a wonderful album for my family. I am 47. Already this year I have lost 4 friends in my age group --and two others my parents age-- to various deaths. They left their photos undone. They all thought they had plenty of time for such hobbies and frills 'later'. Do what you want to do NOW. Ok off the soapbox and on to specifics: :)

My supplies are organized. I don't have to spend 10 to 15 minutes looking for any one item. Every 15 minutes that I waste in my day is forfeiting a half a page that could have been done. Every 30 minutes a day I waste is a page that my family will never see. Like it or not, that is the reality of the modern day life and lack of hobby/free time.

I make page kits. This shaves off SO many minutes in the page making process. You are sort of going at the organization of the kits in an assembly line style. Join Scrapperschallenge also here at Yahoogroups if you need more tips on this process.

I take shortcuts like using sticker letters or die cut letters instead of cutting them by hand. I use rub on lettering when I can't use my computer for smaller wording. I add pop dots to make my own fast sticker accents dimensional. And I use glue dots for lumpy items just so I don't have to wait for the specialty liquid glues to dry. I use Coluzzles because they make the shape I want faster than any other packable crop template cutting system. I take shortcuts like these whenever I can. I still make the design great but I know now which techniques are fast for me --and which are slow.

I use computer journaling if I am at home and hand journaling if I am away from home. This automatically gives me a mix of styles. It also allows my family to have SOME of my handwriting in my books. And it is FAST. I never have to "wait" to get to the computer to finish off a page. I can slip it into the page protector and not go back. That page is DONE!

I leave the majority of my photos in squares or rectangles. I do crop the boring edges off and keep the edges straight. But I don't make too many circles or ovals or hearts etc on each page. I do use a ratio of about 4 'straight' edged photos (squares or rectangles) to every one 'round' edged photo (oval or round). This gives the page a bit of visual relief and still keeps my photo cropping time to a minimum. I use my paper trimmer for the straight edged ones and my coluzzles for the rounded styles. I do sometimes use a corner rounder punch now and then too but only about every 10 to 20th photo.

I do mat a lot (about half?). If I have 4 or 5 photos on the page I will mat the 1 to 3 that are real focal photos. I don't mat the lesser quality photos on the page. But matting is simple to do and fast because (as noted above) I am using mostly straight edge photos and coluzzle shapes
which simplify matting too. I glue the photo to the mat paper 1/8 from the edge and zip zip zip I am done cutting the mat with 3 simple straight cuts on the other three sides.

I use about 50-50 proportion or sometimes a 1/3 to 2/3 ration of cardstock to pattern papers. Don't overdoo the pattern papers. Unless you are going monochromatic and then you can pile on the patterns! LOL For most page kits I use one sheet of pattern and one or 1 and half of cardstock in coordinating colors. Sometimes the pattern is the background if it is not too overwhelming and sometimes the pattern is used for matting and accents. I like the 50-50 balance as long as my pattern is not too wild because I don't want pattern papers to overshadow the photos. this helps me go faster pulling page kits together too. I usually grab one pattern and one cardstock or maybe two. Poof! I am ready with the paper.

I use coordinating paper packs for various themed sections in my chronological albums or even whole albums like a vacation or big event. This saves about 10 minutes per page on paper choices AND it makes the section look coherent and coordinated. 10 minutes a page times 40 pages
in an album is a whopping 400 minutes or over 6 1/2 HOURS!! I am sure you can find a coordinating paper pack you love to use if it will save you a whole DAY of scrapping time!!!!!

I use ready made embellishments. If it is in theme and in the right 'mood' and color scheme, I will likely use it. I do some handmade embellishments too but those are for very special pages. Since I am doing every photo I own (over 43 yrs worth plus heritage) I can use pretty much any premade item at least once and not repeat the same embellishments. I use stickers but I mat them to give them body and anchor them on a page just like other elements. Don't ignore your stickers and premade items! Use up those swaps as well.

I have over 96 albums done so far and no two pages are alike. I am sure this is due to my use of store bought embellishments. :) There is a whole 'premade' and 'precoordinated' section of the sb industry out there waiting to help us go faster. If we are going to spend the time and money on something, let's make it simple on ourselves. You can also make your own simple embellishements. Learn to love pop dots and chalk. :)

Don't overly engage in swaps or cardmaking just for cardmaking sake.... I swap and use what I get in swaps. I am in a very LIMITED number of swaps. I hostess only one swap a month and
get back about 40 page kits. (Because I am in all 4 rounds of ten) That is the ONLY swap I do monthly. Why? Because I only NEED 40 kits a month from other sources. If I am making 100 pages a month, only at max will I need 40 of these. The remaining 60 pages can certainly be from my own stash of kits and supplies here at home. I am, after all, in the mode to USE my stuff up. So no need for me to SWAP for more than half of what I realistically will use in a month. If your swap to page ratio is not at that level, you may want to cut back on swaps?? least for a few months. Don't get in over your head for very little album-worthy result.

Stay off the lists and chats. Why is it the same gals I see saying they only get 1 page done a month are the same ones I see posting on many various lists all throughout the day? remember, the internet is a big magnet. A wonderful library of information...and so much to look at and
dream about doing in sb land.... (not to mention our other hobbies too!) But it will suck all that limited hobby time away. Go no mail and read from the websites on yahoo if needed. You will save at least 20 minutes a day deleting emails. AND you will find you don't run back to the email
every hour 'just to check'. Check it once a day or twice a day at set times. Or learn to filter the email so you only get the BEST lists and tips and drop the rest into the trash automatically so you don't have to click it through to dump it. Don't sit in front of the screen when you
could be creating a legacy for your family. Don't get sucked in!!!!!! LOL Go do a page or two instead.

12.) RELAX
I am not so hard on myself. If I get a page done and it is not 'perfect' in every way but I do like it, I keep it as is. I don't go back and fuss over it all over again. And if others who see it oohh and ahhh over it, more the better. I guess they don't see the flaws the way I do. RECOGNIZE that no one is as critical of your own work as you are. And let it go to some degree. I keep that bigger picture in mind from the first paragraph above.

My family wants the pages done so they can view them and enjoy them...not perfect.

I figure it will take me about 90-100 albums total to be caught up on my lifetime of photos and all my heritage work. I would rather have 56 albums done with 50% of our family history shared and enjoyable and nicely made than have only 1 or 2 albums perfectly made with only
1/100th of our family history shown.

Don't worry 100 albums will still fit in my bookcases. :)

14) IGNORE TRENDS--(well sorta!)
Well don't ignore them. But don't go hog wild either. Trends and looks come and go in scrapbooking. Punch art, paperdolls, paper piecing, paper folding have all had big surges in the last 5 years. Recently it has been eyelets, fibers and metals. Coming up looks like swirls, charms and collage. All GREAT things.

But don't get so sucked into ogling any of them online that you neglect to go do actual PAGES for your family! If you are spending 6 hours a week searching for the newest eyelet shapes and colors, then you are not scrapping those 6 hours are you? Again you
have eaten up that limited hobby time. Add in the new stuff in my great grandfather Ed used to say, "All things are better in moderation!"

You have probably heard the saying Copy and Steal Everything (CASE) in reference to layouts. If you having scrapper's block today and are not feeling creative, CASE and copy one in an idea book. The page will still get done!! No one will mind! That's what those books and magazines are
for!!!!! DOn't let blocks stop you!!!! Keep going. :) Use the INSPIRATIONS links on ScrappersChallenge to your benefit.

Well, those are my 15 best 'secrets' for speedier scrapping and getting over 100 pages a month. In combination, they do work!!!! That's all I can say! I would say 'the proof is in the pudding' but really for us at our house-- the proof is in the bookcase! LOL

*copyright 2008 Rockester

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feeling Overwhelmed: Creative Block

I moderate a great list. I love it! :)

As moderator there, I often get private emails asking for additional tips or help or thank yous. Every now and then I hear sadder stories about very creative people feeling overwhelmed. Feeling stuck. Scrapbookers who haven't scrapped in years. Stampers who can't seem to get motivated even to pick out ink for a card. Crafters and sewers look at their lovely stashes and say "Why was I doing this again?" That's when I get out my thinking cap-- and my empathy pen --and write them heartfelt notes in typical Rockester style. Here is what I usually say.


You wanted to start 2008 off with a productive and loving focus. You had good hobby intentions... But why are you just heading for the sofa instead? Any of these three common scenarios may be the problem.

You come home from a full day of work. You are soooo tired. But you would love ot be able to get some crafting done tonight. You might even make dinner and walk yourself to the doorway of your workspace. Dang! Look at all that. Paper piles here, store bags that need to be unpacked from a previous shopping trip over there, snack trash there, a half filled crop tote over there and some half-packed page kits in progress here. Oh man, where to start? There is just so MUCH to do before you even start. You can't even sit down. If this really a hobby you can enjoy?

Photos, photos, photos. If its not the digital backlog of files on the hard drive that intimidates you, it's the technology of the camera and the computer. Not to mention boxes and piles of real photos. They are all just waiting...waiting...waiting. You know in your heart there are thousands of photos to scrap and that means hundreds of thousands of decisions to make. How will you get them all scrapped up? Do you even want to start the process of DECIDING what to keep and not keep? What to scrap and not scrap.... What the kids will 'want' later in life and what can be left out? ....It's too much responsibility! This is not so fun right now. In fact it's downright mind-boggling. So you do nothing. Where is the sofa again? It seems much more inviting than navigating this photo-overgrowth.

You are scrapping for the family. You do lots of other things for them too.... But somehow they just 'don't get it'. When you show them a page, they grunt. When you are proud of a card the just give you a blank stare or an 'OK honey." When you are on the computer looking for ideas, they get cranky that dinner is not ready or laundry needs folding. You keep hearing how some families LOVE getting scrapbooks. Well, not yours. They could care less--or so it seems. Maybe it is the ages they are at, but you are running out of ambition. You need some Kudos and Applause. They don't have to break out the party hats when you finish an album, but come on, they shouldn't roll their eyes or grouse about the checkbook should they? This is getting old. You are so over this hobby if they don't even appreciate it!

Sound familiar? Any --or all three? :)

Here are some tips to bring the FUN back into your hobby time. Don't be stressed out. You can do this.

1. Get an Overview Again
Review what it is you want to get done and WHY. What is the point of this hobby for YOU? Do you want to make two or three 12x12 albums for each child? Do you want to focus on making albums with messages and sentiments and not events? Or do you feel more creative going chronologially by big event? Do you prefer a 60 page family album for each year? Once you know the direction that feels right for your overall message, you can make a goal list. Make a list of what results you want for your album collection. Write it down. Yes, write the overview focus goals down. (It helps with the next steps.)

2. Smaller Bites:

Now step back. Each of the three above scenarios deals with a very big problem. Yes, anyone would feel overwhelmed if they looked ONLY at the massivness of these tasks. Now it's time to look at your overriding goals (#1) and making a focused plan. Assessing the big situation is not the same as standing still and just gaping at the immesity of the task. Now you are going to think about the smaller practical bits. Put your large goals into specific smaller actions. Organize one drawer, sort and print out one file of digital photos, or join one class. So think small and specific. Taking a small step in the right direction is the only way to go forward. Repeat as needed. :)

3. Say "No!" and then say "Yes!"

Say No to outside influences that take your time. Many of them are not that important. Really.
Say No to negativity--your own or other people's. You CAN do this.
Say No to letting things bother you. So what if they roll their eyes. Roll yours right back! LOL
Say No to Chaos. It's too easy to fall in. And too hard to climb out!
Say No to time wasters. Of any kind.

Say Yes to small achievements and small steps and small lessons.
Say Yes to creativity. Pick ONE idea and do it. Not the whole idea book at once.
Say Yes to change. Admit it--you need a little!
Say Yes to baby steps. Daily baby steps.
Say Yes to patting yourself on the back. Sometimes it really IS all you get.
Say Yes to speaking up. Ask for help at home. Ask for support. Ask for what you need.
Say Yes to fun. Sign up for classes. Meet new friends. They "get it" when others don't.
Say Yes to yourself. Yes you can. Yes you will. Yes you should. Yes you are worth it. :)

You are in control of where 2008 and your hobby goals go for you. Fit time in. Shape your space. Break your goals down. Make it managable. Move forward.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tame that Paper Pile!

Is there an Ugly Beast in your workspace?

Are there unruly stacks and disorganized piles? Tame that paper pile!

My personal paper organization system started when I had TONS of paper both in printed and
cardstock. A few years ago, I had the equivalent of 3 FULL sized file drawers of 8.5x11
pattern, 1 file drawer of cardstock and about 9 inches of 12x12 paper in an accordion file.
Since then I have simplified and used a lot of paper but that is where I started organizing originally. I suggest you bring all your paper into the same room. Put it where you will USE it most. If you have a scrapping workspace, keep all your paper there until it is sorted.

Most of us can sort by color for paper organization. You can also decide to sort by manufacturer if you are a consultant or enter a lot of contests or design/work for a paper manufacturer.
See more info here

Once your paper stash is in the same place, use file folders or a wire rack system and sort it by rainbow order of colors for the cardstocks. I also use rainbow order for the patterns that are NOT themed. I used to use files folders in the past, but now I use wire racks. Both work great! The rainbow order is apparent what is what color but here is the order to place the files. Within each color family put the paper from lightest to darkest hues.

Many papers now may have patterns --but not themes! Neutral patterns have no theme and you can use them on any kind of layout.

What is a Neutral Pattern?
Neutral patterns are:

basically geometric
faux texture (like fake marble or speckled or burlap)
mulberrys, and
most florals.

I don't mind if paper looks heritage-y or looks mod or looks something in between. I sort by color. If it is neutral in theme, it gets stored by color. Most pattern papers now days are not really themed in an obvious way unless they are for birthday, baby, or holidays..

This is the ROYGBIV system but you can add white, black and vellum at
one end or the other. I store neutral patterns and solid cardstock together because they are both 'generic'
and if they are the right color can be used almost interchangabley. Neutral patterns will
ALL get sorted by color family of the dominant color....and get stored by color right alongside their solid
counterparts in ROYGBIV order.
Red and pink
Yellow and golds

I file metallics and corrugateds in with the color that they are supposed to be
(example reddish metallic goes in reds) so I will be more likely to use
them when looking for something that color scheme.

Multi Color Prints: What to do?
If you can't figure out a dominant color in a multi color pattern paper, step back
15 to 20 feet and squint. What color do you see?
That's the dominant color! Or ask a kid. They can usually tell!
:) I don't suppose it is scietific but it works for me!
Now at different ages, your kids pages will take on diferent 'looks'. I scrapped a LOT
more by theme when my kids were smaller. Now I tell the theme of the page much more with accents
rather than background papers. I occasionally look for papers by theme
if needed. But mostly-- now that my kids are older-- I scrap and look for
my background papers by color.
It all depends on ages of your kids, how you think when you pull
papers together to scrap, and if you prefer themed accents --or themed papers-- to
help tell your story.....

Pattern paper with obvious themes is also organizable by placing in wire racks
or file folders.
I file them by definite theme. Roughly using my page additions
categories as my guide from this article

Theme Paper categories are:
ABC's (letter stickers)
Bible and faith
Geometrics: plaids, stripes, circles, dots etc.
Halloween and fall
Kids (non party)
Party (includes birthday)
Retro 1940's and 50's
Victorian and Heritage
water including lake and beach
Winter including Christmas/Snow

You can also expand the catagories to include a catagory for retro paper groups like "1940-50 style" or activity groups like "Hiking and Nature." Feel free to create
a catagory if you have more than 20 sheets of paper for it. Just be sure to label
well the theme sections and remind yourself to LOOK for it there. You can
make more paper categories if you have more than 20 items in a
subcatagory. For example you LOVE dogs and have 45 different dog papers
in the Animals theme section, you can certainly make a new paper category just for dogs.

Do what ever works for you but be CONSISTENT in how you file. Keep themes
alphabetical so you can find that theme again when searching.
Take all those themey papers and file them where they go. If a
pattern paper has no definite theme, then file them by color in with the
neutral patterns with the rainbow order solid/pattern papers talked about above.

Filing in this manner helped save me sooooo much time when doing pages and pulling for page kits. I knew what I had and where it might be located.

Remember the key to organization is RETRIEVAL!!!!!!

As you sort, get rid of any papers you don't love. It will save you a
lot of storage worries and angst in the long run. It will take you a few
days to sort if you have a lot, but it is so worth it later.

Instructions for making your own 12x12 folders from standard sized
hanging folders and how to use the wire cube racks are in the FILES
section of our home page under Organizational Tools and Tubs.

Once you get it all sorted, it will be a JOY to 'shop' at home for your
papers from your stash! No more Ugly Paper Beast!
What a good feeling!

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A joy to work on....Wedding Invitations!

My son's fiance' on right and her mom helping me with the invitations to the BIG day. :) I love these gals! We worked assembly-line style on these lovely handmade wedding invitations (She choose the basic styles and I designed them for her with her input).

Here is what they look like all finished up! WhooHoo! I love the colors she choose. The bugger of the whole project was getting the 1/2 inch ribbon through the heart charm's tiny 1/8 inch holes! But we did it x 120! GO US!!

Ok, Ok, I am trying to be in more photos.... :) So here I am hard at work. My DIL-to-be took this one of me working on the invitations. My own daughter is beside me at my right working on her own scrapbooking pages. We all had such a good time that day and we got the invites all DONE! (I had already stamped all the envelopes.) I have already finished the Save the Date cards, envies, maps, and the thank you cards and envies. Now onward to the RSVPs and gift brunch open house invitation cards!!!

All in all a joyous day's work!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Paper Sorting: the SUUDDS Treatment

Paper Sorting: It's Not so hard to do!

How to give that stash the SUUDDS treatment. Wash those duds right out of that stash!! :)

Some people don't want to whittle down their stash.
That's cool. If you don't want to--dont. No harm. It's your home and
your workspace. But if you do want to purge a bit, but were at a loss
for how to go about it, try this.

Here is how I grab a stack of paper and decide if I want to keep it
all or not. This may seem like a lengthy thought process reading it,
but it is meant to teach some out there the thought process of sorting
HOW TOs. If you do it a couple times through, you will be able to do
it faster and faster.

1. Decide on a Donation Day.
Commit to doing this. You know that charities like the Girl Scouts, Ronald McDonald
House, high school art departments, Young Mother's Programs, or second
hand stores can use the donation to a good cause. Make a date with yourself to go through at least one stack in the stash and to donate or gift the resulting "duds" away. Now a
"dud" is not a horrible thing--its just a paper YOU no longer want. It
is a perfectly GOOD paper to others. It's just a dud to YOU. In fact, they will probably really love it. I also get a nice big box or envelope that will fit the donations so all I have to do is drop them into it and keep moving!

2. Start Big.
I grab my largest stack first. That helps me say YES I know I can find
at least a few sheets in here to give away. I do combine my patterns
and my plain cardstock in storage shelving together now y color because it is less volume than it was a few years ago. I still have at least 1 inch to 3 inches of paper per color stack in my paper
storage. I grab the biggest stack on Donation Day to get me started!

3. Know how you scrapbook.
Do you only make 1 page layouts? Do you
always work in two page layouts? Or do you prefer to scrap every photo
in a event and make multi page layouts as the norm? If you never ever
do a 6 page spread, then why ever have 10 of the same paper? Keep your style in mind when SUUDDSing the stash!

Here we go--SUUDDS and SORT
OK are we ready? I came up with this approach for my own stash. I call
it the SUUDDS approach to washing out the paper stash DUDS!


Ask yourself the following questions for each sheet in this color stack.

Be honest Do you have over 30 sheets of this exact paper? If you have 30 sheets or
more of the exact same paper for your personal use, why? If it was not
designated for a specific album, then you really may
have too much of the same thing. Even neutral and plain cardstock of
over 30 sheets identical is getting to be LOTS for any one person. You don't run a
store. And if you are a consultant of some sort with a big inventory,
that consumer-destined paper should not be mixed in with your personal
supply should it?

Paper doesn't 'go bad' especially in neutrals but come on....Don't hoard. Honestly, I say if you have more than 6 of any one paper-- and it is not for a specific page set yet--consider gifting a few. that's surplus. The only exceptions here might be stocking up for people who live in remote areas and don't have local stores handy to replenish basic colors. Otherwise, use it or lose it. You won't miss it.

Start with the obvious. Is this sheet of paper -- by first impression to
YOU --flat out ugly? Yes? Well, put in donate pile--easy right? Not ugly? Keep
going to next question with this same sheet. (But you'd be surprised
how many ugly sheets we all have in our stashes!! Let's remove them)

Ok it's not ugly, but do you have a use for this paper RIGHT NOW with
the photos you have ready to work on in your home? Did you buy this sheet
with a specific layout in mind? Yes? keep it. Consider starting a page
kit with it very soon. NO immediate use? You'd think you can still
keep it on hand right? Not yet.....go on to the next question.

Is this sheet mediocre in color scheme? In other words, of all the
papers in this color stack, is this really the most vibrant and true
of THIS color? Some teals are dull; some are vibrant. Face it, even national brand name vendor printers lots don't all match up on quality. If this paper is a dud in the vibrantcy dept even
in it's own color scheme, donate it. Some of my slab papers are
dull and others are great...even within the same pack. If it's dull, let it go.

Ok if it passes the dullness test, let's move it on to the next question.

When you see this paper, even though it is not ugly or dull and it may
have some it dated? Being dated means you can tell it is 3 to 5 years or more old. If the answer is yes, does this fact bother you at all?? Double yes means donate. If it seems dated but this is not really a big issue for you, bravo! It can stay. But only if you will truly USE it.

Don't trick yourself about your style. Know WHY you bought that paper.
Did you buy it with your scrap buddies at a convention? Good times.
Does it remind you of your baby's first tooth--even though you have
already scrapped that event? Is it just plain Yummy looking and it reminds you of
a warm happy place in your "shopping nirvana zone"?

Really --do you know you that in your heart of hearts you
will never EVER find a use for that fake leather paper that you can't die
cut, can't tear, can't scissor cut, and have no immaginable use for other than
you HAD to have it one saturday? Then let it GO! Sentiment is NOT a reason to keep a
paper if it has no possible future use to you. Specialty papers often
represent 'potential' of something we want to try or learn or do as a
paper craft. Saying no to a sheet of paper is not the same as saying
no to creativity.

Also, if you know in your heart that altering things and collagey
things are NOT your style, then GIFT those kinds of kits or items it to someone who alters books or covers
boxes or something. If you know it's not YOU, let it go. I may love paper with little lambies on
it and cute baby motifs but I have to say NO to myself because I have
absolutely no use for that right now. And honestly, I don't want to
save that kind of paper for another 5 years waiting....They will make
MORE cute baby papers closer to the time when I need it.

You can do this!
If you run this method a few times you get faster and faster at it. After you give a few sheets the
SUUDDS treatment, you will just whip through quicker and quicker with your papers. Sheet by sheet you can analyse if that paper will really do the scrapbooking job for you. If it can't pass
all the steps in this SUUDDS test, that paper really isn't earning its space
in the scraproom.

SUUDDS. say the keywords over and over a few times--or write them down.


It works. :) Let's get to it! Clean up your paper stash!
Once you make a decision to donate or gift something away, don't forget to follow up and DO IT!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Great Paper Purge 2008: Storage Evaluation

Basics: Sorting Paper: Storage Style Evaluation

You have pulled all your paper into one place. You have probably sorted it in some basic way to put it away. That storage you have may --or may not-- be working for you. Let's take a closer look. Your ideal storage system should tie into not only how MUCH stash you have-- but how you work. Let's deal with storage STYLE first.

If you don't have a paper sorting system that works well for you, ask yourself these questions below.


How do you Work? What's your storage STYLE?
a. by Theme.
Most of you who work on small children's events and the resulting photos will have papers in themes by event. Halloween, Holidays, Birthday, School, etc. Is this how you work the majority of the time?

b. by Color.
Do you first pick a color out of a photo and go to find papers and accents in a monochromatic or duo color sceme? Do you like to match exact shades of papers when creating a layout? Do your friends say you are the pickiest one on color at the whole crop? These are all clues that you should sort by color.

c. by Manufacturer.
Do you work for a specific paper vendor? Do you enter a lot of design team competitions, scrapbooking contests, or even teach locally? Perhaps you should store your paper items and their coordinating accents specifically by brand. People who are independant company consultants should also store their paper stash by manufacturer and keep their personal stash away from their consultant business sales stash.

d. Combination Themes/Colors
You may find that you need a combination style. Many pattern papers are stripes, plaids, paisleys, florals, and checkered. I consider these ALL neutral and they can really go on almost any kind of page. They are not themey papers like say, birthday cake, farm animals, teeth, fireworks, or halloween pumpkins would be. Personally, I store my themed papers together in file folder system in a file cabinet by theme. Everything else that is 'generic' paper --from cardstock to stripes to paisleys to vellum-- is neutral and is stored together with it's main color family on wire grid rack shelves. This has really worked well for me the last three years.

Evaluate your style. Which method of sotrage will work best for how YOU think and scrapbook?
Keep that in mind when sorting your papers out and evaluationg storage containers.

We will be evaluating storage containers and methods next so stay tuned!!