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!"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Perpetually Useful...

Bare frame, just waiting to be loved.
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  Hope everyone had a great week last week!  With the colder weather in our parts and the polar conditions all over the rest of the country, my hope is that you all were safe and warm, with no complications. Our week here has been busy.  Jury duty on Tuesday and surgery for Mr. Scrappin on Wednesday.  Trust me on's been fun.  What do you mean you detect a bit of sarcasm there?  Say it ain't true, Stu!

I can say that being home did not make me unhappy.  The day of hubby's surgery, the weather was just awful. Although I'm so very grateful that it wasn't like a lot of the rest of the country, it was awful for us.  Icy and snowing, and cold.  And we ALL know how much I HATE the cold.  I truly think it should be outlawed but, so far, I can't find anyone to go up against the weather systems to back me up. Perhaps I should put it on the next voter ballot.  VOTE FOR PEDRO!  Oh wait, I got a little too excited there.  VOTE FOR ME!  Anyhoo, what with the circumstances, I was able to stay home and not have to venture out into the weather.

Ribbon cuteness.
So, you are all asking...what exactly did you do while you were home?  Well, since you asked...besides taking care of Mr. Scrappin and yelling at him constantly to follow the doctor's orders, I THOUGHT about cleaning the house.  Yeah, (snicker, snort) that didn't happen. And since that didn't happen and I had a little free time on my hands when hubby was resting, I decided to come up with a little birthday gift for my sister-in-law.  If you'll remember, in my last post I mentioned that I would be posting little organizational projects for this month.  But not the boring kind.  Just the fun kind.  Like this one.  Now, I'm not really sure that this project is actually an organizational help, but it's the fun kind that we all like to look at.  Even if we don't really use them.  hee hee hee  I did have to stray from my original idea just a tad as the base of this project is a picture frame and it only stands one way, which is not the way I had everything measured out.  Pooh sticks!  Ah well, time to improvise.

You can't tell from this pic, but the paper is
just beautiful.  A wonderful texture with a
leaf imprint.  Very pretty.
My original idea had been to make a calendar for my sister-in-law using a frame I thought I might have.  However, not wanting to print out a year-long calendar that would just be torn off at the end of the year, I quickly changed plans for that.  Coming up with a perpetual calendar seemed just the thing.  So I had this great plan of having a perpetual calendar with scriptures at the bottom that could be changed monthly along with the dates.  I measured and thought; measured and thought.  My mind's eye could picture just how the calendar would look and I was excited to get started.  You know what that means, right?  Yeah, me neither; I thought maybe you could help me out there.

Let me take this moment to tell you that along with other REALISTIC goals for this year, one of them is to use what I already have if at all possible.  Which I do...but...we all know that even though we love everything we have and we got things we wanted for a reason...we will STILL buy new stuff because we like that too! And heaven knows I have enough stuff to open my own craft store (not that I will because I'm also very selfish) so I really don't need to purchase anything.  With that in mind, I really started this little project last week when I started picturing in my mind some of the things I have.  Not that I knew where they actually were in that mess in there, but I knew I had them!  Once I made up my mind what I wanted to do, the search for supplies began.  And, just so you know, I almost got killed in my own craft room.  SOMEONE HAS GOT TO CLEAN THAT PLACE UP!!!!

Much better!  Some ink to "mess up" the card stock.
These are the actual colors; the other photos have too
much light hitting them.
Out came the frame and, after measuring and being so proud of myself, I realized that it would only stand one way, which was the deciding factor of the final result. Once I decided how to proceed, I went to my scrap drawer to see if there was anything suitable in there for my idea before I used a whole sheet of paper when I didn't need to.  I ALWAYS check my scrap drawer first, just in case.  Yay, I did find one that I absolutely loved.  One of my favorites and it will go with just about anything. This time, instead of painting or adding paper around the edges, I used ribbon.  A cute, fun ribbon that wasn't too stand-outish.  There I go, inventing new words again.  :)  And, of course, out came the mod podge.  After adhering the paper on to the front of the frame, I let it dry and then sanded the edges off.  I used my ATG adhesive to attach the ribbon and, man, was that the perfect size for this particular frame.  I was so stoked!  Cuteness!

This view shows the ribbon on the side.
Pardon the doorknob!  LOL!
Going through my scraps, I found what I thought was the perfect choice for the base of the month and day bases. A heavier card stock that would hold up to the continuous changing of the dates without coming apart or separating at the edges. And I had enough! WOOT! That almost never happens! By this time I was getting excited that this might actually come together! Cutting the scraps to the size I wanted was a piece of cake. For the letters and numbers, I dug through more of my stash on the floor (yes, I did say floor and you can stop laughing NOW) and found a ton of alphabet stickers that an old acquaintance had given me a few years back. She had purchased a ton of them and several packs of paper to do something for her then boyfriend, but they broke up before she could do it. Since she was moving back to Georgia, she gave it all to me. Where it's been sitting, since 2006, just waiting to have it's chance at fame, fortune and freedom. It's time has come! The letters were perfect since they were small enough to enable me to spell out some of the longer months in their entirety. Once attached, I was pleased. As for the numbers though...nope. Way too small. WAY. So I once again got on my hands and knees and went through my binders on the floor (I SAID STOP LAUGHING) and found some number stickers that I'd been hoarding. They were the right size and I had enough. ANOTHER WOOT!!!

And...finished.  I love how it turned out.
It's really so much better than the
pictures show.
Ok, names of months done and numbers added, double sided so as not to make too much bulk.  Hmmm...something was definitely missing here.  What to do, what to dooo.  Aha!  Ink.  Found part of my ink stash and picked a couple of colors to use to kind of "mess up" the card stock portions. MUCH. BETTER. Now it looks like something I would use myself, which means it's ok to give as a gift.  Are you all as picky as I am?  If it doesn't work to my liking, I won't give it as a gift.  I feel that if it isn't good enough for me, it isn't good enough for someone else.  Just what I had in mind, except for the area for the picture.  Should I leave it alone and let her put a picture in it, or should I make it into another useful spot? You know, like Pooh's thotful spot, only useful.  I decided to compromise and get another scrap to put in the frame part and use a dry erase marker to write in "to do" on the outside of the glass.  That way, she can either use it that way, in conjunction with the calendar or, if she chooses, she can erase the marking and put a photo in there.  Am I a genius or what? Why, yes I am, thank you very much!  I'm so glad you agree.

Now, to add the hooks to hold the dates and we're in business!  With all this fun stuff and the cuteness here, I hope Tori finds this calendar perpetually useful.

Frame by Sierra Pacific Crafts; Papers and Ribbon by unknown source; Alphabet stickers (Americana Circles) by Kopp Design; Number stickers (Ooh La La) by Bo-Bunny; Adirondack inks (Caramel and Pesto) by Ranger.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Organized Chaos..

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  Wow, here it is the first weekend of a brand new year!  I am wishing each and every one of you a beautiful and wonderful 2014.  Usually with a new year ringing in, we all make resolutions that we THINK we're going to keep.  Well, this year, I have made different goals than my usual "I'm going to lose weight and eat better" that I make. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. I'm going in a little different direction and just settling for making myself happy. How hard can that be?  Pretty hard, actually.  But I will do it.  This year, I am pledging to get back to the me I used to really like.  The me that was fun and enjoyed doing things for other people instead of hibernating at home and doing nothing. This year I am going retro - BACK to being organized; BACK to making menu plans; BACK to making sure I remember to acknowledge those birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions that I used to at the very least send a card for.  I've fallen off the wagon because I've gotten lazy and forgetful and selfish and it's got to stop!  I miss my old self!

Just a couple coats of spray paint.
My craft room is completely unorganized, which does not help one bit.  I don't feel like working on ANYTHING because I have to hunt for EVERYTHING.  And I really do mean everything. Where are my markers? Beats me.  They've been moved and never put back. Why can't I find that one adhesive that I love the most?  Because it's still in one of those six bags that I haven't put away yet.  You know, the ones that I packed up to go to Sarah's LAST DECEMBER.  No, I am so not kidding and this is terrible! I'm usually very organized and I really do think that helps with the creative process. 

As I was talking with a friend about how uninspired I've been and how I just have no oomph to clean anything up, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my daughter-in-law not so long ago.  She and my son just moved and everything is in an upheaval.  They can't find anything and when they do finally find one thing, the other thing they were looking for is still missing.  Frustration galore!  Four children and one on the way and everything out of place.

Purple for Cierra.
So, this month, the first month of the new year, my posts are going to be little projects I've done to help with organization.  Not huge projects, like the kitchen where I attached an organizer to the door for all the pot and pan lids, but little, more subtle ones. Fun ones.  Like this totally hokey, but really fun and actually useful one that I did for my granddaughters.  Being teenagers, they have tons of jewelry to wear (they're girls, remember!!) And I'm pretty sure I'm not helping matters any since I bought them both bracelets for their birthday AND for Christmas. What can I say - the Jewelry Fairy spoke in my ear every night for months and those subliminal messages are almost impossible to ignore!

While picking out their bracelets for Christmas, I was looking at the jewelry holders that were also for sale.  Not knowing whether or not they had jewelry boxes or anything, or if they did, where they were at right now, I decided that maybe they needed something along those lines, at least until everything is unpacked.  The problem is that both of them are really into bright colors and fun and the holders I saw were more along the lines of being blah.  Nah, that just wasn't going to work.  So I started thinking about what I could do to make one and came up with this.  Like I said, hokey and cool at the same time.  And super easy!

A few strategically placed hooks.  
I bought cardboard/paper mache' letters (I'm really not sure what they're called officially) and painted them with the girls' favorite colors.  Green for Tiff and purple for Cierra.  And then I stuck some hooks in them.  Yeah, that's it. Nothing else.  ALTHOUGH, I really wanted to put more hooks in but my own daughter was yammering at me that they would be cleaner looking with just three.  So, I stuck with three.  And snuck the rest of the hooks to the girls so they could put more in if they so chose.  hahahahaha  Someone has to do it!  Really?  Three hooks to hold all their stuff?  I. DON'T. THINK. SO.

Anyhoo, these jewelry holders afford a little bit more organization right now, when it's really needed since a lot of things are still in boxes.    The girls loved them and they can either hang them or put them on their dressers, whichever they choose.  At least right now, there can be organized chaos in their room...until the boxes are unpacked...then it's just plain chaos!!

Alphabet letters from JoAnn Fabric; Ultra Cover spray paint (Key Lime and Grape in gloss) from Rustoleum.