Friday, January 31, 2014

This year's hockey albums

almost done - photos to add, and a few more embellishments - then viola!  17 done.  Huge thanks to the three ladies who helped out so much!

Ok, took some photos and realized that the one I picked to show the insides isn't quite complete (glad I picked it actually).  I will be finishing them all up tomorrow when I put the photos inside.  Hope everyone likes them.

They are interactive, I used a new Darice embossing folder for a few spots.  Also my cricut - sports mania, Oh Canada, Keystone, and Mascots (dont' remember the name of this one).  With my organized table, working is a lot more enjoyable and easier these days.  

 you can't really tell, but the light blue with grey flap is embossed and pulls out to the right to hold up to four, 4x6 photos
 small tags in left side, large photo mat in right (custom papers for team names)
 flaps open up to make a 'double wide' center spread
 not sure why, but I forgot to put the mat on behind the tags???  Go figure :)

 inside back cover has things for some, blank for others - just depended on the mood for the book.

All to go out on Monday.  Had a blast creating.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Organization continues

While organizing scrapbook area's can be daunting, I am enjoying the 're-discovery' of many items.  Saw this on Facebook the other day and it is so appropriate for my task.

This week's topic was paper.  It is probably one of the few weeks I have 'off' as I like how I store my paper.  Is it pretty?  Parts.  Is it neat?  Parts.  Can I find the patterned paper I want in under 60 seconds?  You bet!  That time frame works for me.  Gives me enough time to think about  what, exactly, I want.  I remember reading on a blog somewhere that finding the patterned paper first is important in creating layouts.  Cardstock is cheaper and usually easier to come by.  I tend to agree so start with the pattern paper.  

How do I store my paper?  Very eclectic.  After my daughter said, "mom, where are you going to put this" when I got home from a sale on paper, my storage changed.  I have decided that finite is good.  As paper goes out, new can come in.  Since making this a goal, it has really made working with papers and finding them much easier.

So - my sorting methods:

Some - by line with embellishments and coordinating cardstock.  This is the smallest group.  Each group goes into one of those 12x12 plastic envelopes.  The envelopes are stored in a box vertically.  The cardboard box (nothing fancy) holds about 8-12 envelopes.  These vary as they are often purchased for specific projects.  After the project, anything leftover goes into general storage.  Kids know not to take from this area.

Some by stacks/pads - whatever you wish to call them - most are DCWV, but there are others.  I limit my stacks to 2, 12x12 cubes.  If they won't fit there, I don't add (with an exception every so often for specific lines - ex: Rock Star Stack is not stored there.  With kids playing guitar and singing - I collect all types of items/papers.  On the plus side - I am on my third (and final I think) stack of that particular paper.)

Some by manufacturer or theme - these are my favorites I use quite often.  They are also ones that I tend to purchase without specific photos in mind.  I know I will use them.  I have an old school room tray system that is 24" x 24" x 72" tall.  It holds 16 trays - the lower 6 are for sorting my scraps by color.  The top is for premade scrapbook pages.  Usually from classes that I haven't decided what to do with just yet.  The other 9 drawers are for my favorite manufacturers (Bo Bunny, Cosmo Cricket, Graphic 45, and October Afternoon) and themes (sports, music, farm, baby, scouts).

Next, we move to specific holidays.  Christmas, Valentines, Easter and Halloween are kept in drawers of their own.  Other holidays are kept in 2 gallon zip locks on the shelf with the rest of my patterned papers. 

My general use patterned papers store in two methods. 

First - most are stored vertically in an order that makes sense to me.  No there is no pattern, just what I am used to.  The container is 2' long and 14" tall.  I try to leave plenty of room so I can pull something out a bit and push it back in without wrinkling.  1" seems to be plenty.  Cardstock is stored similar in a unit on top the patterned paper.

Second - larger quantities of identical papers are stored in one of the wire racks like you see in stores.  I have spots for 30 papers.  Sometimes there are two or three patterns per tray, but I keep by mfg (ex: Jolly Holiday line - found clearance of 25 sheet packs for $2 - wanted 4 patterns - they are all together and easy to find).  Some wonder about buying 25 sheets of a paper.  Well, it works for me.  I have gotten to a point that I know what I like and will use.  If I find a good buy on a particular paper and only want 5 sheets - not an issue - either buy by the sheet or split the pack.  I tend to split packs with people quite often.

I also have a 14 x 14 cube of papers in ziplocks or plastic envelopes that are for specific events.  This cube sits next to my patterned paper.  1/2 of the cube is just papers/embellishments that are waiting for the pictures, the other half actually becomes page kits - everything assembled and ready to go.

That is my paper storage!  

So what about crops?  That is a common question.  Do I have to pull together?  Yes and no.  The only pulling together comes when I decide what to work on at the crop.  Usually I can be ready in under 15 minutes.  I have been scrapping long enough that I keep one paper carrier full of cardstock.  I use my supply at home to refill after crops and refill my shelves from that point.  As far as projects - I can grab some of my ready made kits, put them in my wheeled tote, along with my adhesive and refills, grab my 'tool box' and I am ready to go!

I tend to take three items to short crops (add the gypsy and cricut if longer time periods).  

1) wheeled tote
2) tool kit (plastic photo storage box with handle)
3) paper bag 

Yes, this method requires duplicate items for tools, but really?  after scrapping for over 20 years that is not an issue.  I have trimmers, eyelet punches, scissors, rulers, etc..  All in duplicate.  Short crops mean I don't always have my favorite, but I do like all the tools I have, so it works!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby Album Finished!

Request was to keep this neutral as the parents wouldn't be finding out the sex of the baby until it was born. 

 Fairly simple little album, though  the baby girl was born last week  so I added the pink frame below.  I had pink and blue ready to go.

 a simple slide out/pull out for photos
 I put a few photo mats in, but left most fairly blank so they could put pictures wherever they wanted.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Organization? Really? Ok, let's try it out

I am taking a free get organized class over at  So far - we are on week two.  Am I more organized now - no way :P

However, I have assessed what I have and kind of figured what does work and what doesn't.  Some things work well for me.  Others not so much.  No photos just yet - I am not that brave.  Hopefully, but summer, I will post before and after photos.

Milestone for this week - I completed the first two lessons (and assessment chart), am about 1/2 way through sorting my ribbons into some bags, and am trying hard to put away little piles each day (about 15 minutes worth).

Notice, ribbons are not organized, just sorted from various locations.  I have a drawer to use when doing my 15 minute clean up and when time, ribbons will go into one of 14 categories.  Just pick what works.  For me it was
  1. laces
  2. grossgrain
  3. satins
  4. sheers
  5. fibers/string
  6. twills
  7. beaded 
  8. felts
  9. pre-adhesive
  10. fabric and velvet
  11. misc (clear plastics, rubber, tinsels, fishing tie materials, and others)
  12. pearls
  13.  ric-rac
  14. paper
I also have two paper ribbons - one is 3' long, the other about 8" long.  Eventually I plan to put them with raffia (I think I have some) and other paper ribbons.  If I don't have these items, they will either go into a layout kit, be donated or end up with miscellaneous ribbons.  One thing - before I chose miscellaneous, I made sure the container I had for these was small and clear - it only measures 2" high x 8" long x 6" wide.  If it was going to take more than this amount of space I figured I wanted it to have its own category.  

In case you are thinking I have this wonderful scrappy room/studio - nope.  I have a corner of the family room and a little bit of our strangely shaped and rather large laundry room.  The only items I have that were designed for scrappers, other than my crop bags, some 12x12 boxes (3 or 4 of these), some of the stearlite drawers that hold 12x12 papers, and a wire paper rack that I found at a thrift shop.

While organization is key, spending tons of money is not.  I love the idea of sorting using bags on hand before buying anything.  It is giving me an idea of how much there is to store.  Some storage solutions may be purchased, but not until I see how much there is to store and if I even want to store it.

So, the journey continues.  Hoping I have time to do some more today, but chores, school, work all have to come first.

update - after finding three more shoeboxes (two of which were very large) full of ribbons - I really was beginning to hate ribbon.  LOL  I know myself well enough to know just sorting into groups is what to do first.  Don't start with the getting rid of until after sorting or I will end up tossing it all - kind of defeating the purpose of organizing so I can enjoy using what I have.  I now have nearly 4 gallons of gross-grain ribbon and changed most of the smaller categories into a single container.  The only thing (other than cardboard shoe boxes) that was added to my container/think I may want to get rid of pile was a cute little ribbon box - designed with 6 holes.  I thought I wanted those.  Bought one, realized it didn't work for me and after emptying it (I managed to put 14 ribbon spools inside) it will go to someone else who may enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

52 Week Swap - Round Three

Ever want to try out a swap?  Now is your chance.  This swap is being hosted here and on my messageboard HERE.  If you want to participate, just comment below or drop me an email to

Basic rules - all items to be two pieces of paper thick or one thickness of nice cardstock. They can be more, but if you use paper rather than cardstock, it must be backed by something.

All items to be embellished twice (unless otherwise directed). Embellishment ideas include buttons, bling, ribbon, fiber, brads, inking edges, coloring a stamped image, stickles, skittles, paint, eyelets, etc.. There are 100's to choose from. The only thing that doesn't count as an embellishment - plain flat stickers. Just make it something you would be proud to use in your album/altered project.

Each group of 8 items is to be put into a ziplock type baggie for shipping. I appreciate your taking time to do this step. It helps the swap go much quicker. It also helps if you choose to do monogrammed items and such. If you do this, please be sure to label each bag.

All bags are to list who sent the contents - we love to know who makes such wonderful creations!

Include enough postage/cash for return shipping. I do return extra - rounded to nearest quarter for cash; stamps - any that are not used are returned.

After you join, I will send you my address. Checking in every two weeks is required. It lets me/group know you are still around and participating!

Unless otherwise stated, each item is to be at least 3.5" in one direction. If you create smaller items, just set them end to end to be sure at least one measurement is this minimum size. Larger is fine, but this is the minimum.

Week One - create a Tri-Fold card. Any theme. Directions can be found here:
If the card is the standard size when completed (1/4 of a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper) then no envelope is required (though they are allowed), but if non-standard size, you need to include an envelope.

Week Two – Valentine’s Colors - Pinks/Reds, even black/white and red – maybe some purple – whatever makes you think of Valentines Day. Create an item (I can email you a pdf listing of ideas/sizes/etc. if you wish. Just email me at with 52 week pdf in the title) using these colors. Journal cards, deco squares, fun embellishment piece from cricut cuts, etc.

Week Three - Cricut Easter! Choose something that is Easter to you. No right or wrong here – it could be a bunny, new life, baby animals, flowers, eggs, chocolate, whatever – have some fun! Then create a cricut cut (or cuts) to go with your idea. The cuts are to be embellished. If you pick something that doesn't have layers - remember you can mix and match - animal wearing a backpack, school books with a backpack - tons of ideas.

Week Four - Technique Crazy. Use some crinkled tissue paper for this item. If you decide to make a tag – it doesn’t have to be the 3 1/8 x 6 3/8 size, it can be any size. It doesn’t have to be a tag at all – just use the crinkled tissue paper to create something – card, bookmarks, deco shapes, have fun!

Week Five - Create an embellished photo mat(s). Create one per person at a 5”x7” size, or two per person if you prefer to create a smaller size. Photo mats need two embellishments.

Week Six - Total Choice! You get to choose. If you are having a hectic month - you can buy something for each person. OR - You can create an embellishment bag of at least 4 items (example: 1 yard fiber, 4 regular size brads, 3 un-embellished die cuts (3" in size or larger), and 5 buttons). You don't have to use this listing for an embellishment baggie - it is just to give you an idea. You can make something instead, but this is a 'free for all' week - have some fun with it.

Week Seven – Festival of Sleep – January 3. Time to rest from all that busy December rushing. So have some fun and create a project that represents sleep or rest to you. Moons, pillows, jammies, a bowl of cold sugar cereal (that was ours with one Grandma and Grandpa right before bed). It all works. If you send something that doesn’t sound as routine as others, please be sure to let us know on your description slip.

Week Eight – Fancy Pants Brand Paper. Create something using a Fancy Pants Brand of paper. Please let us know what line you are using when you send (just in case we want to create more items). It is ok to use older lines. This swap is one designed to use your stash whenever possible, but still give some new things to try!

Wrap it all up and ship by February 28.

details for entire year (if you are interested) are on my blog 8/24/2013 post here:

A few more notes:

maximum of 8 participants per round allowed.  Currently, we have 4 for this round.  Many of us don't start until the 2nd month (in this case, February). 

Thanks for your interest!