I keep saying that I'm going to give you some information on how I organize all of my stuff, but I haven't done it yet, so today's the day! I'm basically just going to give an overview, with a closer look here and there. If you have any questions or want more information about anything, just shoot me an email or leave a comment, and I'll follow up on that! Warning - lots of photos ahead...
We moved last fall from a three-bedroom home with an attic, a basement and a garage. Lots of storage, and I had a whole room to create in. We now live in a two-bedroom apartment with ZERO storage (I'm not kidding - I only have ONE drawer in my kitchen, even - wha...?!), and the "craft room" also serves as an office and guest bedroom. In this room I have everything divided between two walls: One wall has a daybed with a pullout trundle and a desk with the computer and printer and all, the other wall is this:
Here are some close-up views of things from left to right:
This is a desk organizer tipped up on its back, and I use it to corral things that are too long to fit anywhere else - a roll of parchment paper, my craft sheet, full-size score board, XL dies and cutting platform and plates, 12" templates, etc. It sits behind where the door swings (the stop might have given that away already, lol). There is a drawer, which I'm (obviously) not using as a drawer - it is acting as a shelf to support the little carry-all that contains the regular cutting plates and magnetic platform for my Big Shot, as well as some of the DVD-style cases from Stampin'Up! that contain my small dies and embossing folders:
These smaller embossing folders and dies generally come in sets of four, so I put each set into a trading card sleeve, then put the filled sleeves into the cases.
I also have my long strip dies in the organizer. My eyes are getting old and I got tired of trying to read the tiny print or make out the design of the die, so I got some Contact paper and did this:
Now I can see at a glance which is what, and the Contact paper is thin enough that it doesn't interfere with the function of the die... Next to this is the modem/router/whatever (don't care) for the computer, since the cable connection is on this wall, then we have this:
It is the small media tower that you can get at WalMart, and I got some "craft wood" and pegs to make a couple of extra shelves for it. I have all of my dies on the bottom shelf, my embossing folders on the top, and a variety of punches in between. I'm sure you can tell from the photo what is where...
One more thing on the dies: I cut magnetic vent covers to size and tape them with my ATG to laminated cardstock cut to size and stick the dies on them and slide them into CD sleeves and write the name on the sleeve and put them in a Really Useful Box (sans lid):
If they are too large for the CD sleeves, I put them into 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" page protectors cut down to 5 1/2" square (I also trim off the edge with the holes):
You can also see in the photo of the media tower that there is an outlet (three, actually) on the side of my workbench. The bench has a fluorescent light under the top shelf, and I plugged it into the bench instead of the wall because I used one outlet on the wall for the computer-whatever, and the other for the main power cord for the bench. This outlet on the side is where I plug in my heat gun when I'm embossing. Moving on to the bench itself, here's the top half:
The pink box has a few squeeze punches and odds and ends in it, the cases are from THIS , and have embellishments: gems, brads and eyelets, epoxy stickers and frames, buttons, hardware, bookplates, etc. The pencil cup is laying on its side so I can put my Prismacolor markers and Stardust pens laying down and still see them. Greg's daughter brought us a shot glass from the Hard Rock in Rome and it holds my paintbrushes nicely, and my ATG is sitting next to that. The spinner is one of those that you're supposed to put in your kitchen cabinet for your spices, but it holds glues and various mediums and tapes and cleaners and a can of colored pencils and a jar of faceted clear buttons.
Since the workbench is metal, I have magnets stuck across the face of it (handy). The pegboard holds a TON of tools! Corner Chomper, Crop-a-Dile, Stamping Gears, scissors, rulers, drafting tools, brayers, etc. The baskets have (left to right): my MISTI and small scoring board and Pergamano pad and piercing template and envelope punch board; hand-held punches; adhesives and small, flat tools like the Bow-Easy and the Mat Pack from Stampin'Up!, as well as my Tiny Attacher. The smaller basket above has double-sided tape, regular tape, and poster tape. I can take them out of the basket, or just pull off a piece with them still in it, because they stick out far enough.
Underneath the baskets are all of my ink pads: A Muse Studio; Memento and Delicata; Distress Inks; my most-used Memento and Versafine and Versamark; Close to My Heart; Ranger Archival Jet Black; the Really Useful Boxes that house all of my Stampin'Up! "spots"; retired Stampin'Up! ink pads that I don't have refills for (so I can't make spots). I also have a clamshell of Hero Arts shadow ink spots, but it is tucked away elsewhere (haven't landed on a permanent space for it yet). I keep my guillotine cutter here, too, but took it off when I took the photo so you could see the ink pads. It's usually like this:
and I just turn it to use it. On to the bottom half:
The file box has all of my 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock (except neutrals), and the patterned papers that made the cut when I purged prior to our move. I got a shoe shelf thingy and stuck it under here to maximize the space. Top shelf has a container of small alphabet stamp sets on pegs and a few JustRite self-inking stamps; a container of Stickles and glitters; a box of ATG refills and other tapes; cover blanks for my Bind-It-All; a box of specialty items (foiling tapes and such), and some Really Useful Boxes with colored staples and fancy clips and such-like.
The center shelf has all of my ink refills, two cases of beads and findings, two photo cases of chipboard frames and tags, and the coils for the Bind-It-All. The bottom has condiment cups (handy for mixing paints and such), coffee filters (I use these to catch glitter or embossing powder when I use either), a recipe box that houses my Dymo labeler and tapes, a red case that I will explain in a future post, and my Bind-It-All.
Underneath the bench are two Iris 12" cases that have papers I can't bring myself to cut down - Christmas and Halloween and glitter and metallic and Urban Prairie and Kazoo Kids, to name a few - so there they are. the ArtBin in the center has Christmas and Halloween:
The top compartment has stickers and small embellishments and washi tapes and such, and I probably should have opened the lid so you could see that better (sorry). Inside are larger tapes and all of the stamps (more on that in a minute):
The shoe box next to the ArtBin has "card parts" and other miscellany, and my watercolor pads and a decoupage sheet of vintage Christmas images sit on top of that. The two drawers have these:
Border punches, a few dies, paper crimpers, my P-Touch labeler, and camera accessories (the camera is in here, too, when I'm not taking pictures with it, lol). And the other one:
Whale tail and dollar bin punches, plus a few others. Since these drawers were designed to hold tools, they handle the weight very well without sagging or being difficult to open and close. On to the bookcase:
My Big Shot and a sewing caddy (vintage - was my mother's and maybe even her mother's before that) are on the top, plus a lamp. The next two shelves have stamps (more on that in a minute, I promise), as do the two farther down. In between are a small drawer thingie that has small tools and pens/pencils, three binders of alphabet stamps, four cases of ribbon, a zippered case and a drawer unit. Here are some details on those:
This is how I store my ribbon and twine. I roll them into coils and secure them with clear, tiny rubber bands (dollar store). This (obviously) is the red/pink/purple case. The others are blue/green/yellow/orange, black/white/brown/metallic, and specialty (seasons, holidays, script). This is what's in the zippered case:
I have no idea how I came by it, or what it's intended purpose was, but it works really well to corral my heat gun, embossing powders and superfine glitters, as well as the Versamark and embossing buddy to use them with. I had more powders, but got rid of the colors (never used them) and just kept metallics, neutrals, and clear. The drawer unit next to this on the shelf has BIC Mark-It markers in the top drawer , and sewing supplies (pins and such) in the other drawer.
The lower shelf has a drawer unit with thread and beading supplies in it. Next to that is a box laying on its side that has "mat stack" Christmas papers, doilies, etc.). On top of the box are a Mary Englebreit daily calendar that I can't seem to let myself get rid of (actually, it's two or three years' worth - I purged and consolidated before the move), and a clamshell of punched/diecut pieces. Next to that are my 6" papers, then a couple of paint palettes, and a tambour box my father made that houses craft paints and my bobbin box. The bottom shelf is, obviously, books. There is just enough space between the bookcase and the wall to slide my rotary cutting mat into.
And now, the promised "more information" on the stamps! If you've followed my blog in the past, you know that I've tried multiple methods for storing them. I've combined two of the previous methods, kind of, sort of, to come up with the current one. In one incarnation I cut laminated folders to 4" x 6" and stored them in photo cases, and in another I laminated half-sheets of cardstock and put them in binders. What I'm doing now is this:
I got THESE containers and cut the lids off (yes, I did!) so that I could fill them up with stamps (and embossing folders):
I got cheapo photo albums for 4" x 6" photos and cut them up to make "pockets". First, remove the cover (if you can - some of them you can't) so you just have the pages:
Open them out from the center:
Lay a ruler on them to hold them even and then cut with a rotary cutter or craft knife, leaving about 1/8" or so beyond the seam, so that the pocket stays intact:
Repeat for the other side, and for additional albums, until you have as many as you need:
My favorite photo albums for this came from AC Moore - they cost $1.00 and had 50 pages. There are no AC Moores out here in Las Vegas, so I found some at WalMart and Dollar Tree. The ones from WalMart had the opening at the 4" side (so do the AC Moore ones), but the Dollar Tree have the opening on the 6" side. At first that bothered me, but it ended up being a happy accident - more on that later.
I cut all of my previously 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" laminated cardstock (and covers) to 3 7/8" x 5 1/2" to allow space for the cards to slide into and out of the pockets easily after they were filled with stamps. I stamped 4" x 6" index cards with the images and put them on one side of the pocket/page, then put the filled cards into the other side:
The "happy accident" allowed me to take all of my background stamps out of the DVD-style cases that I had them in and incorporate them in with the rest of the stamps, because it didn't matter if they stuck up a bit out of the pocket:
I still have my alphabet sets in binders because most of them would take multiple cards, and I still have long borders (previously wheels, mostly) in the DVD cases, like so:
Three laminated cards, cut to size, will layer in the case just fine. I have the five cases on the bookcase on the top shelf. If you paid close attention, I'm sure you noticed some other "page" looking things on the second shelf, too. I need another container for a few stamps that won't fit into the existing ones, and I have a few oversize stamps that won't fit anywhere (Julie Nutting's Lorrena, for example). I could put them in another binder, if I get one, but so far I haven't...
A couple of final things not covered elsewhere: there are two Really Useful Boxes on one of the shelves of stamps, and here's what's in those:
Various tools for inking and blending and misting and all... The neutral cardstock is housed in the desk - it has a file drawer and I commandeered it for that purpose, although there are a couple of files for bills and such in there, too... I think that about covers the whole shebang! As I said before - if you have questions or need clarification or more details or what-have-you, just let me know! I'm going to go enjoy the sunshine now (85 degrees is our projected high for today), so catch you all a different day! Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for stopping by!