Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter 2013

Well, it's *supposed* to be spring, but this is what it looks like here today: 

No matter, in a few days it will be Easter, snow or no snow.  Here are some Easter cards I made this year:
This is the one I made for my nephews.  It's kind of a challenge for me to make cards for them that are still fun but not too girly.  The paper and stamp are from Imaginisce.  I love their little stamp sets, and that they coordinate with their papers.  I used Copic and Spectrum Noir markers for the bird, eggs, and nest.  The "Happy Easter" stamp is from Studio G.
I love the look of banners, and I like using twine and bright colors.  This paper is from the Echo Park "Springtime" line.  I can't tell you how versatile this one pack of papers has been.  I've been using it and using it for over a year and I still have more to use.  It works great for small things like this. The twine is from We R Memory Keepers (Lollipop), brads are from Creative Impressions.  I printed the sentiment out on the computer using "Cotton Candy" font.
I had to make a special card for my newest niece, Emma Jane, as it is her very first Easter.  I used Bazzill cardstock, patterened paper from Making Memories (Boho Chic), ink from Versamark. I don't know who makes that flower's been in my stash too long!  Funny Bunny stamp from Studio G.  I used a Martha Stewart border punch to make the scalloped lace edge.  I cut the egg shape and the pink Peep bunny from my Silhouette.  I got this cute card idea from my friend, Elizabeth Mindemann.  She had done it with a chick inside the egg, which is also very sweet.
I hope everyone has a blessed Easter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Organization Nirvana!

I am messy.  I've always been a little messy.  My mom used to get notes from my teachers about my messy desk in grade school.   Not much has changed in 37 years.

You can see that I attempted to be organized. I bought drawers upon drawers and I labelled everything in sight.  I tried to have some kind of system.  But I never could keep it clean.  I had too much stuff I didn't use clogging up space.  I would put things away only to forget that I ever had them, and I'd buy MORE stuff.  This hindered my creativity because who wants to sit in a pig's sty where things get lost and there is no space for anything?
  Then I took a course by Tiffany Spaulding.  She is then inventor of the Scraprack, which is an organizational system.  You could also call it a "miracle," because it finally got me on the track to cleanliness (which as we all know, is next to Godliness) and being able to access stuff quickly and put it away (which is KEY) just as quickly.  I had the ability to group like things, label them, and put them away.  But not being able to find things, purchasing more things, and then running out of space was killing my creativity. 
So I watched Tiffany's webinar on organization, which was free.  She said we didn't have to purchase a scrap rack.  I looked at it and decided I would make one out of large three ring binders and plastic sleeves I found at wal mart.  I quickly found out this was not going to work.  Stuff was slipping out of the pages, etc.  I realized I needed a genuine scraprack.  I was taking a risk, it wasn't cheap (my initial purchase of scraprack unit plus extra sleeves cost approximately $200.  I wasn't sure I liked the way the scraprack looked, either.  But I was in.  I was desperate.
Tiffany has you separate things into categories.  You create your own categories, and she gives helpful guidelines.  My categories are:  Letters and Numbers, Templates and Tags, Sentiments, Animals, Baby/Boys and Girls, Birthday, Bling/Flourishes, Ephemera, Faith, Floral/Nature, Masculine, Travel, Vintage, Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, White, Black, Neutrals, Multicolor, and Shapes.  Instead of putting stamps with stamps, and eyelets with eyelets, etc.,  all alphabet things (alphabet stamps, alphabet stickers, alphabet chipboard) went together.  All birthday themed things went together, all red things went together and so on.  I had to separate EVERYTHING in my stash into these categories and purge some stuff. It was hard to let go of some things, but I found giving to friends and to good causes helped the pain of that.  I gave away about 5 medium size boxes of stuff.  I got a little discouraged when I realized I'd have to have an expansion unit for my rack.  And all this took a VERY long time to complete.  But I will say it has been worth it!  Now look at my more functional and certainly MUCH cleaner space! 
I have the rack sitting directly behind me, so all I have to do is turn around to have easy access to supplies.  Looking through the supplies gives me inspiration and encourages me to USE what I HAVE instead of buying more stuff.  I can very easily put things away. 
I put cork board on the back of the shelving unit so my kids could put pictures up there of their artwork. 
Look at all the space I have on my desk now!!! 
I have a few finishing touches I'd like to do, but I'm so pleased with how this has gone so far.  I've made a few cards and a couple of layouts and I love the access to things and the ability to put things away! 
I did learn a few things about myself.  I buy way too much, especially letters and alphabets.  I tend to buy two or three sets of a type of letter so I don't run out of letters.  I also am something of a pack rat....I had *8* magazine holders full of scrapping magazines.  I need to be more prudent about what I buy from now on. 
But I wholeheartedly endorse the Scraprack and the method Tiffany uses!  For more information about the Scraprack and her organizational methods, go here
Tiffany is expanding her organizational expertise into other areas of the home as well, and plans to make more classes about general home organization.