Big gap in my posts….that’s because I’ve reached my 100th post!!! I can’t believe it. Apparently I’ve had a lot to say and show over the past few months. Thank you to all of those that read and added comment to my little crafting blog.
So what do you do for your 100th post? It has to be something special…..but what? I reviewed some past comments and questions, many of which centered around a similar theme. They also matched the question I get most often when I share my crafts with others. “Where in the world do you get the time?” That, I think, makes a good topic for my 100th blog post. So now I’ll tell you my big secret?
1) I have a time machine
2) I have a small army of house elves
3) I really don’t sleep
Ok, none of those are true. 🙂 A time machine would be nice, but I haven’t figured how to create one. House elves can be helpful but also unpredictable (remember Harry Potter?) and, I do “generally” get a good number of hours of sleep (well at least time laying down….sometimes the sleep isn’t exactly quality!). So how do I get the time?
Humor me while I share a bit of how I “get the time” to do paper crafts. (by the way..this post is long…you may need coffee) I think it comes down to three things for me.
Most of you know that I work full time at a fairly high stress, high demand company. Most of you know that I have my hubby and two very busy little people in my life which brings along the routine of soccer car pools, homework, toddler fun, bath night, etc. Not to mention laundry, grocery shopping, home maintenance yadda yadda yadda. Most of you know the drill. Point is….Life is busy.
So the first secret “thing” is really no secret. I think most people agree that if something makes you happy, you generally figure out how to work it into your life on a regular basis.
Whether that is going to the gym, running a church group, date night with the hubby, gardening, reading, rock climbing…anything that brings you energy and joy….you generally figure out how to make it work. Paper crafting is that “thing” for me that I make the time for because it makes me happy.
Secondly I love sharing/gifting and teaching paper crafting with others. First it was scrapbooking (and that still rates super high) and now paper crafting continues to bring so many wonderful people into my life. People that I may never have crossed paths with if it wasn’t for photos and paper. These ladies (some of which have been in my life for 13 years (of course my mom has them beat)) are my friends. I so enjoy their company, friendship and support. I love providing them fun, inspiration and motivation to keep working on their photo/paper projects as well as helping them try new things. It is such as honor for me that they continue to bring new friends, ideas and energy into our little community so that I in turn get to share and teach their friends/family, build new relationships and strengthen the existing ones all at the same time. Knowing that these amazing ladies are expecting that energy, inspiration and sometimes that little push from me, keeps me motivated to find the time! Thank you ladies! I love you all!!!
Lastly, and I think very very important to creating the time, is having a space to create in.
I’m super fortunate to have a space that I can call my own. My crafting corner. I spend a lot of time in my corner. I come to this corner to create, to get away from the noise of the house, to relax, to get my mind out of the technical details of my job and most of all just to take time for me. Do you want to see my corner? It isn’t fancy. It has dreams of looking like this some day….
Actually my little corner looks like this. Its a hodge podge of fun and I love it.
All my crafting goodies are here within a chair swivel or just a few steps away.
So how do I organize my corner well for me that is half the fun of creating. Figuring out how to organize for ease and usability on a small budget!
Lets start at the top. The top of my desk hutch that is. I have a set of 6 photo boxes. These are filled with all of my older single stamps. I have them organized by holiday, sentiments and a few other categories. I use the sentiment box mainly. The others I could probably get rid of and really not miss them much. But that is for another day. To the right I have a series of notebooks. These are filled with patterns, 3D project making directions, punch art samples and other great reference tools that I’ve collected. Then there are my catelogs. These make great reference tools. I keep them for about three years and then recycle them. I also have a bin of retired card stock colors. This is my “go to” bin when I’m looking for paper for templates or projects that don’t need to be “SU current”. The stack is actually getting really low which is good. Next to that I have my little spinning tote from Costco. It is filled with my small trimmer, rulers, exacto knife an other odds and ends that I need from time to time.
You can also see my SU water based markers on the shelf below the 6 photo boxes and my button basket on top. My button basket was made my mom years ago. It is filled with all sizes/colors of buttons. I love it. Next to that are the 2 pink CD holder cases. These are actually holding small mason jars filled with ribbon spools by color. Love my ribbon spools and having them just in arms length from my desk means I go to them a lot! However, my ribbon collection seems to have exploded in the past year so I now have ribbon in another location as well. You’ll see that below. So much ribbon…so little time!
On the left side of my main desk is my ink/pen storage. This is a drawer that my hubby made for our bathroom remodel that was rejected for one reason or another. He added a few dividers for me and it became repurposed as my ink storage. My copics are in a little mess basket sitting on its side.
To the right of this is my computer monitor and next to that my phone, garbage bin and a tin full of pens/pencils/scissors/paper piercer, bone folder etc. Those things that you need to just grab quick as you are creating.
To the left of my main desk are six cube cubbies from Micheals.
My printer sits on top. Lets see…the cubbies are used ALOT!
Top left cubby – Mini drawers hold all my 6 x 6 papers and small paper stacks and my stamp sets that are stored in CD jewel cases.
Middle left cubby 1) holds my bags/boxes waiting to be turned into little gifts 2) holds all my twine and cording and 3) holds some of my larger wood mount SU sets.
Lower left cubby – holds most of my wood mount SU sets. I don’t have very many as I’ve given away quite a few and since I don’t buy wood mount anymore this drawer is as full as its going to get!
Top right cubby – 3 drawer cube holds my 1) embossing inks, powders and glitter, 2) Ink spots, sponges/daubers and my water color supplies and 3) holds an assortment of “other” supplies such as rub ons, specialty stickers, coaster board/shapes etc.
Middle right cubby – is the paper bins which holds all of my 12 x 12 printed paper/packs. I actually have very little 12 x 12 solid cardstock. My scorepal is also in there (which I rarely use anymore thanks to my SU trimmer). My paper is organized by color or theme. It is super easy for me to pull out the color folder or the theme folder and scan through them to pick the perfect paper for my projects. My scraps from these prints are stored in the folders as well. I don’t keep a scrap that is less then 3 x 3 so that helps reduce the storage obstacle of scraps.
Bottom right cubby – The last three drawers are probably the least used. They hold a variety of things that I don’t use very often but can’t yet part with.
My clear mount SU stamps storage…now here is where I have a problem brewing. It works for now but you can see that I’ve started stacking sets on the top. I’ll have to work on that…or simply stop buying new sets….or I suppose also start moving old sets out. All very viable solutions although I’m pretty sure the “stop buying” option isn’t likely.
I’ve had this old wooden 7-up bottling crate forever. It has been used for a variety of things over the years. But it looks really cute filled with stamps sets. It sits on the floor between my desk and the cube storage and I can grab a set easily from my desk chair.
Turning to the right of my main desk is the desk extension table. (BTW I found this desk, hutch and extension table on craigs list for super cheap!). In crafting mode you can barely see the top of this side of my desk as it is the catch all for everything! Love having that extra space on the side.
Under the desk is another powerhouse space. First the little drawer set on the left is amazing! It holds all of my punches (yes, every drawer is almost filled….don’t tell my hubby!) Love having all my punches right there. On the right side is small mesh file/drawer combo that I found at Target. On the top of that is a small basket that holds my envelope stock. Next to that is an old Harry and David Box that serves as my recycle bin. It is good to see it full. That means that I’ve been busy crafting this week. In the file drawer is where my ribbon overflow continues to multiply. What can I say…I’m a sucker for a punch and pretty ribbon. The file drawer underneath the ribbon holds all of my PTI cardstock. For some reason I’m saving this cardstock. It is amazing paper and I rarely use it. I guess I’m too busy working with the SU paper which is front and center on the top of this desk extension in a basket with dividers. This “rainbow in a basket” makes me smile! Directly in front of this is another mesh basket which holds my current SU catalogs and my scrap files.
I’ve tried many paper filing systems over the years but this one it working so well. First off remember this is literally an arm length away from my main desk…just to the right at all times. My full sheets are easily pulled from the basket and the scraps are in the files by color family right there in front. Easy to pull from and easy to clean up my desk by dropping scraps in their respective folders. I’m diligent about going to the scrap files to pull the pieces that I need before I reach for a full sheet. My scraps get used this way because they are right there. I’m also a little compulsive (ok, a lot compulsive) about keeping my scraps organized. So I always trim off the rogue edges so they don’t catch/tangle with each other. It may be silly but I think this steps saves me time in the long run.
To the side and below this basket is all of my scrapbook booking 12 x 12 papers/stickers etc. Those are all in 12 x 12 sleeves by color family (paper, scraps and ABC stickers) for easy access. My stickers (what is left of them) are in an old CM file case by topic. Additionally I have a filemate folder to catch all of my scrapbooking memorabilia that needs to be added to my albums. I have that sorted by season or major event such as birthday, Christmas or Vacations. This works great for me as I am “generally” only about 1 year behind with my albums. So as long as I can keep that pace my memorabilia from the previous year is cleared/scrapbooked before the current year stuff starts coming in.
Lastly just across the room is my Die Cutting Cabinet. I purchased this from Home Decorators as well when we needed the dresser that I used to have here for little Miss. It was a bit of a project to put it together but I love it. The height and storage works great.
Always, always, always on top and ready to go is my Big Shot. This is used on average 3-4 times a week. Having it out and ready like this just makes using it so easy. The sandwich supplies are ready in the little cubby on the left. In the little drawer in the center is all of my framelet style dies. I don’t store them very fancy. Some are in little baggies and some are in CD sleeves but they are all together and with the dividers and the sample dies on them I can easily flip through and find what I’m looking for. Having scissors, a ruler and a few other tools on this tabletop at all times is also a time saver.
Inside…well this is a bit of a hodge podge but I have my light box, photo sort box of older / extra photos, my cricut cartridges and a lot of smaller containers to be used/upcycled for future projects. I have a hard time throwing away cute shaped containers!
Well there you have it. My big secret. 1) Make time for the things that make you happy, 2) Have a reason to stay motivated and 3) set up a space that is yours, even if it is just a corner or even a well organized closet or dresser! (there are amazing ideas on pinterest if you need to be creative with your space!)
Wow….I can go on an on about this stuff. If you are still reading…thank you. If you stopped reading at some point thank you for at least looking at the photos of my “happy place”.
Alright, that it is for my 100th blog post. Now back to my regularly scheduled routine.