Tuesday, April 30, 2013

this month in my scrap room (a.k.a. scrappy jedi and the closet of doom)

Last month I ran across a series of posts on Sue Althouse's blog called This Month in My Scrap Room, and I was so inspired by how she quickly rounded up little things she was doing to improve how her space worked for her that I sent an email asking if she would mind if I joined in and did a similar post of my own each month! I was quite happy when she emailed back and gave me her blessing, and today I have my first installment ready to share with you!

If you follow me on Pinterest and have seen me madly pinning scrap room ideas, it's not because I'm getting ready to rearrange- I'm just trying to inspire myself to clean things up around here! I started with the closet in my scrap room. The scary, scary "Closet of Doom." And while I completely neglected to get my DSLR out and take a before photo, I did find one buried in the depths of my iPhone...

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::shudder::

Seriously, nothing in the lower half of this closet was working. It had just become a place that I piled stuff that I didn't know what to do with, and as much as I liked to think that those plastic drawers kept things organized, they just didn't. And the power strip and wireless router just laying on the floor in front of it? Yikes! So I cleared everything out, scanned in a bunch of paperwork (and then shredded it!), and eventually got to a point where I could see the floor once again...

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...and found tack strips. When we moved back into this house a few years ago, I ripped up all the carpet that had been installed by the previous owner and found some awesome hardwood underneath. Unfortunately, I also found tack strips and hundreds of staples, and Darren and I spent weeks pulling them all up. Somehow I missed doing that in this closet, so I took a few minutes and finished up the job. Eventually we'll have all the floors in the house sanded and refinished, but we're waiting until the kitchen and bathroom remodels are done to minimize the risk of damaging the shiny new-ness.

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Darren kindly stepped in for a few minutes and hung both the power strip and router underneath the supports holding the copy stand in place, taking care of that little mess for me by getting the cables up off of the floor.

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I opted not to put the plastic organizer drawers back into the closet (they went home with my brother, and the office supply items that they held have been moved to another area where they're easier to find) and instead rolled my Raskog and Antonius organizers from IKEA inside. The Raskog holds my 6x6 paper pads (and is full, which is just one of many reasons I have seriously cut back on the shopping this year), and the Antonius will eventually be a home for my 3x4 and 4x6 journaling cards. Only the top two drawers are partially full of those right now- the bottom two house a few unfinished projects...as does the bookcase to the left of the closet.

The closet was the biggest thing I tackled this month, but I did work on a few smaller projects that will likely be ongoing since I've only been working on them in little 15 minute spurts here and there.

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I did a trial run of sorting my paper by color almost two years ago and loved it, but for some reason I never went back and finished the job. I'm happiest when scrapbooking from kits (both those I buy and those I make), and I almost always build my kits using a color palette (I talked about that a bit in this video at Two Peas). Having my paper sorted by color just makes sense, so I've been grabbing a handful here and there when I have a few minutes and just getting it done.

I've learned a couple of things while doing this-
  • First, I'm able to find things so much more easily! I used to store my paper by manufacturer and collection, but when I scrapped I'd go hunting for a piece of orange (or whatever color) paper. I'd then try to remember which collections might have that color and spend way too long looking for one sheet of paper. 
  • The second thing I learned was that I tend to prefer B-side prints, especially with just one or two colors. When sorting paper that's double sided that I only have one sheet of, I make myself choose which side I think I'm more likely to actually use, and I almost always choose the B-side. So, all of those collections that I was buying because I like the look of the pretty, busy A-side? Yeah, I can stop doing that. All I need to do is buy the embellishments I like and then match them to papers that I already have.
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Another organizational project that I'm really excited about is finally finding a storage system that I like for my clear stamps! I've tried binders and boxes and all kinds of methods, but never found anything that really just worked for me. I've been considering some of the systems that include stamping "index" sheets, but it always just seemed like so much work to stamp all of those images and then clean all the stamps! I'm so happy that I discovered Tracy Banks' (Mercy Tiara's) method in this video. I'm grouping mine by manufacturer in the folders, and I am so happy to not have to take stamp sets out of their packaging and then put them back in again every time I want to use them!

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I also like this method because I already had everything I needed for it om hand, including the transparencies! I did run out of the box that I had last week, though, and went looking for more, and holy moly, they're almost $50 a box (100) at the office supply stores! Luckily I found a box of 100 on Amazon for little less than $20, and I'm pleased to report that they work perfectly for this system!

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My last little organization project for this month was moving my wafer-thin metal dies from the Quickutz magnetic folders I had been using (shown here) to an ArtBin case. The dies take up way less space this way and are much easier to flip through! I was getting tired of opening up all those folders every time I needed to find one die, and now I can just flip through the sheets in my box. JoAnn had the cases and sheets on sale for 50% off earlier in the month, so I got a great price on them!

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I try not to organize things just for organization's sake, but I do love it when I get things to a point where they're easy to find and work with- the point of most of this month's projects. And a big thank you goes out to Sue Althouse for the idea for this post and for letting me play along with her post series!

Monday, April 29, 2013

project life 2013 | week 4

My desk looked like a happy explosion had happened after I finished making my Maggie Holmes collection mini album for my guest design spot with Crate Paper this month, and while all of those supplies were out I decided to go ahead and use them on a week in my Project Life album, too!

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Supplies:




Poor D was studying hard for his MCATs during this week and studied hard every day since then, right up until this past Saturday when he was able to finally just take the test and get it over with. He's not quite sure what to do with himself now that he's not buried in test prep every day!

As for me, I usually spend January and February staying as busy as possible indoors, trying to distract myself from the icky cold weather outdoors. During this particular week that meant lots of time in the gym, cooking comfort food (in the form of almond flour brownies and massive salads topped with sliced avocado), and working on getting hundreds of photos from CHA prepped and blogged.

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Between my four Crate Paper projects I used up all of the most common letters in my pack of gold glitter Thickers, and I think I'm going to have to borrow a page from Ashli Oliver's book and see how many more titles I can make with the leftovers to get them all used up! My real temptation is to go and buy four more packages, but I'm definitely holding that in check- I'm sure that something else just as lovely will come out at the next CHA!

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Happy Monday, everyone, and thank you so much for stopping by today!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

geek girl | april 28, 2013

It's been a rainy, rainy day here in my little corner of the world, which made for absolutely perfect Doctor Who viewing! We don't have an actual television set in the house and watch everything either on our computers in our respective offices or on a projector in the living room/dining room/home theater/library (tiny house :) ) if we're watching something together. Doctor Who is definitely one of those "together" shows, and normally we have to wait until evening to use the projector (we have massive windows in the living room and very little control over the ambient light, and the projector image is almost impossible to see if the room isn't dark), but with today's rainy, overcast day, we had a chance for a rare noontime Who-viewing! And I thought that this week's episode was one of the best so far!

And now that I've subjected you to a rather long ramble about the things we have to schedule around when planning to watch our favorite shows, how about I get on with it and introduce you to this week's geeky roundup!

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From the top left:

  • You shall not pass. Unless it's your birthday and Gandalf is on your cake.
  • I'm not a huge fan of leggings, but I'm really, really tempted to pick up this TARDIS pair! There's also a Boba Fett version if you click through the link.
  • Now you can express your nerdy side while getting your daily caffeine fix with this Lego brick mug.
  • Last week's roundup featured a sweet Calvin and Hobbes wedding, and this week there's a set of photos featuring the mischievous duo in real-life photographs. So cute!
  • This Boba Fett mixer will stir, cream, and beat, but, alas, no disintegerations.
  • Nerd Approved rounds up five everday ways to include a little TARDIS in your life.
  • If the it's bigger on the inside, then I do not want to know how many calories there are in one of these TARDIS cake pops!
  • If the cake pops weren't enough, Nerdalicious has five more yummy TARDIS desserts waiting for you.
  • The Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago recently opened a Star Wars miniland based on The Phantom Menace. Club Jade has the full report.
And, finally, in tonight's video, Harrison Ford is...well...just watch...


MTFBWY!

Friday, April 26, 2013

friday favorites | april 26, 2013

Happy, happy Friday, everyone! I hope that you all have fun and creative weekends on your horizons!

This week's Friday Favorites includes lots of two page layout inspiration- it seems that lots of other scrappers have them on the brain lately, too! I've also got some mini-album ideas and an organizational tip or two lined up, so let's jump right in!

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From the top left:

  • Julie Kirk didn't intend for her layout to become a double-page spread, but it certainly looks like she planned it that way!
  • Yainea puts a fun spin on the traditional mini album by using her stamps to build a childrens' activity book. Check out the details at Lawn Fawn.
  • Heidi Swapp is currently in the middle of an 8-week series showing step-by-step how to create with one of her Memory File Albums. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 have already been posted with more to come!
  • Shelly Jaquet walks readers through her process for stretching a single-page sketch into a two-page layout on the My Mind's Eye blog.
  • Lisa Moorefield recently wrote a great post on organizing memorabilia.
  • Ruth Bonser loves scrapping with kits (as do I!) and wrote a fantastic post outlining why kits are her preferred method of shopping for supplies, along with reviews of several kit clubs she's subscribed to.
  • Jennifer Larson wrote a fantastic series all about two-page layouts. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 at Write. Click. Scrapbook.
  • Virginia Nebel at Scrapbook and Cards Today shows a fun way to extend your single-page layouts into doubles by incorporating divided page protectors in a unique way.
  • I've been meaning to write a post about why I love Feedly as a replacement for Google Reader, but Christine Newman has already done a much better job of explaining the service than I ever would, so I'm just going to direct you to her awesome post instead!
TTFN!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

use your scraps layouts for shimelle | part 1

No matter where my layouts are first posted, I always try to eventually bring them home to "live" here on my blog. I like it to be a gallery of sorts, even if I do post layouts that you've most likely already seen. :) Just in case you missed it, the two projects in this post (I'll share the other two next week) were over on Shimelle's blog a week or two ago, and there's a whole list of new ideas for using your scraps that goes along with them. If you liked my previous Use Your Scraps Week features, then I think you'll like what you find over there!

I still have lots and lots of photos from our Aruba trip a couple of years ago that I want to scrapbook, and when some scraps from the Sundrifter collection by Studio Calico ended up on my desk after finishing another project, I immediately put them to use on this page. I love those ombre Thickers!

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Supplies:





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My second project today is a home decor piece for spring, using the same template as I did for a Halloween-themed specimen box all the way back in 2010 (when I apparently liked to round the corners of all my blog photos- ha!). My Martha Stewart butterfly punch made its way out of hiding recently and is getting put to use on all kinds of projects again- it's one punch I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of!

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And now I'm going to return to my happy little scrap-coma for the rest of the evening. The May kits from Citrus Twist are here, and I'm trying to figure out how to get the ten (yes, ten!) layouts that I want to make finished while still getting all of my other assignments in!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paperclipping Roundtable Episode 156 : Palpitations Sometimes

Yesterday I popped home from work on my lunch break to record an episode of Paperclipping Roundtable with Noell, Izzy, and Wilna Furstenburg. It's been a couple of years since I was last on the podcast, and I have to admit that I was just a bit nervous about the topic- collecting and/or hoarding scrapbooking supplies!

You guys (those who have been reading here for several years, anyway) know about the shopping sprees I used to go on in the past- the boxes from Stop and Scrap in the days when I used to buy every piece of a collection I loved and the trips to Tuesday Morning on the days when they would get lots of closeout scrapbooking items in stock. And, while I'm happy to have found so many things I love at such great prices, I now have a room that's fairly full of scrapbooking supplies. Since I refuse to grow my collection beyond the boundaries of my scrap room (which also has to function as a guest room and my home office, and I want it to do both comfortably), I've had to make some changes in my shopping habits, and after I got the whole "admitting how much I have" out of the way, that part was actually fun to talk about.

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I hate posting without a photo of some sort, so here's another peek at my upcoming layout for Two Peas in a Bucket. This one is particularly timely because I did what I love most when choosing supplies for it- lots of old (though it still had to be in stock at Two Peas, which limited it a bit), combined with just a tiny bit of new. I have the most fun scrapbooking when I really mix things up, bringing in just a tiny amount of new supplies to freshen up the older lines. And I really need to get another Back to the Future series up soon! 

Okay, now I think I'm just rambling, so I'll send you off to listen to the latest PRT episode (in which I hopefully do not sound like a complete dork) and wish you the happiest of days!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

cherry blossom mini album with the maggie holmes collection

I may or may not have squeaked just a bit in delight when I opened up my box of goodies from Crate Paper for my guest design spot with them last week and discovered that they'd included the entire mini album kit from the new Maggie Holmes collection. I love the look of a mixed-up mini album, and this little kit made it so easy to put one together with all of its pre-coordinated pages.

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Supplies:






We had a very late spring this year, meaning that my beloved cherry blossoms were at least two weeks behind their normal blooming season. My box from Crate Paper arrived when it was still cold, and it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to dedicate this mini to one of my favorite times of the year! In fact, I finished it the weekend before they all actually bloomed, so it was the perfect lead-in to the season for me.

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With all of the Maggie Holmes collection in hand, I decided to do something that I rarely ever do- throw a ton of product into one project. I normally would not use this many die cuts, ephemera bits, and dimensional embellishments in one place, but since Crate Paper was so generous with what they sent, I decided that an album about one of my favorite subjects was worth the "splurge" in product. So if you're looking at this album and thinking that you would never use that much stuff in one place, I totally understand- it was unusual for me, too! Had it not been "free," it never would have happened.

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All of the journaling and photos are from a post that I wrote at the end of cherry blossom season last year, and I simply copied the text straight into a word processor, printed it out, and cut it into strips. I used the same batch-processing method that I used on another mini album about the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC and worked through photos for all the pages, then the journaling, patterned paper, embellishments, etc., until the entire album was finished.

You can see how it looks all stacked up in the album in the photos above, and I also took pictures of the individual pages below.

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I know I'm going to be so, so happy to have this little book to flip through when winter comes around again. I might have to make a mini album like this for cherry blossom season every year!