noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Monday, January 20, 2014

Paper and Ribbons and Sorting, OH MY!...

The old system just doesn't work
anymore.  LOL!  Can you say
Hello, Happy Monday and Welcome to the Farm!  I know my post is always done on Sunday, but I have a good reason for being late.  The only internet we can get out here is satellite internet, which means that when the weather conditions are cruddy, so is the service.  As in, couldn't get any with the cloud cover yesterday.  So, I'm late.  Pooh sticks.  

And now, without further ado, this week's project.  BWAH HAHAHAHAHAH!  Betcha thought I really had one, huh?  Psych!  I do.  Sorry, I've been cooped up and I'm bored.  Not that I SHOULD be bored, I just AM.  While I could have been doing something productive like, oh, cleaning up that craft room that I'm always whining about being so messy or perhaps actually cleaning off that dining room table that I haven't seen in months, I have not done either.  Almost. I sort of started in the craft room and got really tired of looking at my mess and gave up.  Yeah, I'm a quitter.  I'm not proud of that fact.

Much better in hanging file folders.
Do you KNOW how much stuff is in there? Seriously? Paper (duh), embellies (heart them), ribbon (ooh pretty), adhesives, scissors, blah blah blah. We ALL know what kinds of things are in that room, just waiting for me to play with them.  My rubber stamps, of which I have three *cough* or four *cough* need a place to rest where they can be happy.  Not that they're unhappy; they just need to be happier.  They work hard and they deserve it.  Don't yours?

Really, my stamp storage isn't all that bad so I'm not revamping yet, just putting them all back from where they came.  Along with everything else.  Today I made sure that I got my papers all put back where they belong and the ribbon put back up so it wouldn't get trampled.  So that's what I get to share with you today.  A couple of years ago (could have been last year but I really don't remember much past 10 minutes ago - I can tell you that I ate a brownie) I had my scrap paper in an expandable pocket folder, which worked fine when I first started stamping and scrapbooking back in 1998 or somewhere around there.  It got to the point that I couldn't even close the folder anymore, let alone put anything else in it.  Which meant, of course, that stray paper was in piles that needed to be dug through to find anything.  Not so helpful or organized anymore.  And my ribbon was in whatever it was in; I can't even remember now.  I think a drawer or something.

Crates for my unused paper.  Solids in one and patterns
in the other.  Perfect and I can see them at a glance!
Anyhoo, when I was rearranging and picking up, I thought I would share with you what I actually did to organize those two things when it got too overwhelming.  There is absolutely nothing I hate more than digging or having to look for something when I'm trying to craft because then I just stop.  I'm not in the mood anymore.  Tell me I'm not alone!  It's the same when I sew.  If I have to stop for anything besides getting a drink or an adjustment to what I'm doing, it's all over.  Ripping out?  Done.  Can't find my scissors?  Finished.  Out of the right color thread?  Temper tantrum.  Again, I'm a quitter.  And again, I'm not proud.  But I am human and I like to be organized.

When I finally accepted the fact that my paper system wasn't working anymore, I wondered how to go about getting it to a place that would actually work for me.  Not an "it's all put away and it looks great" place, but an "aha, just what I was looking for" place.  And I found it.  Years ago, I can't remember how many, but it was the same day I got this cabinet I revamped, I found an old metal teacher's desk at a yard sale.  It was only $5 and I couldn't pass it up.  I've had it ever since and have many, many times thought about making it prettier but have never done it.  It's my old friend, my scrapping, stamping, crafting buddy.  I love it like I love my favorite pair of old jeans.  And it's HUGE.  You can see it here.  Ha, I just noticed that the other cabinet, pre-vamping, is right next to it in this old picture.  LOL!  They were like Siamese twins, never separated.

Ribbon in jars and cups, with rolls hanging on a dowel.
This old friend of mine has three drawers on one side, one in the middle and two on another side, as well as two tray pull outs in case I need them.  And of course I do!  The big drawer, which is deep, held bulkier things that I couldn't find a place for.  Until I had my paper thought.  Which, I don't mind saying, I'm downright proud of.  The best thing is that it works for me really, really well.  There is a ton of room to continue adding to and I never have to try to figure out where to put it or dig through a pile to find the right one.  Love it!  I left my little expandable folder behind and utilized the hanging file folders that Mr. Scrappin had about a zillion of when I first moved in here.  They're expensive so I didn't want to throw them away but, seriously, I'm pretty sure we could have opened a hanging file store and still been in business all this time later.  Wow.  I just tucked them all in the closet so they wouldn't be in the way and wouldn't get ruined.  My intent had been to either give them to someone that could use them or maybe use the heaviness of them for templates.  Lucky me, I hadn't done either of those things yet so this paper reorganization cost me absolutely nothing.  Zip, zilch, zero.  The best kind of cost!  All of my lovely paper scraps are tucked into bed so beautifully now.  They were already sorted before by color, with the dominant color of a pattern being in a file in front of the solid card stock color.  If there wasn't really a dominant color, I put it in a general pattern file.  In addition to the patterns and solids, there are mulberry papers and other types of papers that went into their own files as well.  Did I already mention that I love it?  I'm pretty sure I will never tire of this.  To top it all off, when I close the drawer, there's not a big mess of "hangy outy" scraps showing.  That's a technical term, by the way.

Attached to binder clips and hanging from
book rings onto a dowel.  Perfect!
While I was writing that, I remembered that all my ribbon (twine, cording, you name it) was actually in a storage container.  You know, one of those that you might have in your pantry to hold noodles or something.  I think I had three or four of them.  And, of course, I had to dig through those to find what I wanted.  Although the digging wasn't really the worst part, it did get on my nerves a tad.  The worst part was that I would remember having something and when I pulled it out, it would be a small piece or something I couldn't use for the project I was doing because I had already used some and there wasn't enough left.  Frustrating.  Not long before that, I had been at Staples buying more printer paper and had picked up one of those little tubs of binder clips that you can fill yourself.  I was working on something that I needed some for but I didn't want any ugly ones (sad, but true, I am a cuteness fiend even with my office supplies) so I had picked up some cuties.  After sorting the ribbon by color, I attached them to  the binder clips and attached the binder clips to book rings.  Once I had all the ribbons sorted and attached, I used the book rings to hang them from a rod on a shelf I had found.  On top of the shelf, I filled cups and jars with other types of ribbons and ties that wouldn't get wrinkles or distorted if they weren't hung up.  Another win.  I'm still in love with this system.  

Really, those were the two biggest areas that needed reorganizing for my peace of mind.  Everything else, embellies, etc, was already in a good system and I'm still using those ones.  You know as well as I do that we can accumulate stuff we've never even HEARD of without batting an eyelash and, before we know it, we have our own mini store in a room.  Items we can never possibly use up in our lifetimes are in there and we are not sharing or getting rid of ANY of it.  Don't even pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about here!  

I would bet money that I'm not the only one sitting there shaking my head and saying, over and over again, "paper and ribbons and sorting, oh my!"


  1. Feel so good to get organized doesn't it?? I have some rooms that need attention here :)

  2. It really does! Now...on to the rest of the house...sigh.