Aug 23, 2017

My Stamp Storage Unit

I have had lots of requests to show my storage unit and other ideas.  Unfortunately that requires a couple of things...well...align, lol.  One - I have to have most of my things not out in my class buckets.  At any given time I have buckets sitting around my office with upcoming projects for classes or past projects that I am still waiting to film.  This week - I finally got most of the buckets up - while at the same time my office itself was in presentable condition.  (is it me or do most of us creative types work best in a mess?!)

This is an old TV unit that was my mom's.  She purchased it when TVs were just getting really BIG and still really deep.  Just a year or two later the backsides literally came off the tv's.  When she moved she no longer needed to hide her tv while not in use and gave us the unit to use for storage.  My husband and brother moved it up to my office where it held an odd assortment of stuff for several years.  When the time came for me to renovate the room - the piece really had to go.  The amount of space it takes up in the room for the junk it was holding was not worth the trade off.  Fortunately my husband remembered how hard it had been to get it UP the stairs and said it was NOT coming back down.  In fact they had cut it in HALF to get it up and he had re-glued it once it was in place.  So, I turned to Pinterest and he started designing something that would be much more efficient in storage.
 He built the two boxes that swing out.  You can see when they are closed they hold my ribbons, washi tapes, powders, glitters, embellishments, ink spots, embossing guns, etc.  There is actually quite a bit of spare room still in the front shelves.  Those swing open and there you see my favorite parts.  The bottom of the swing outs hold all of the ink pads, refills and markers in each of our colors. There is space for 3 years of rotating In Colors and with the Neutrals I have kept a few of my favorite retired In Colors.  I don't keep a lot of retired items.  The only real exception to that is ribbon (which I then use liberally to wrap packages) and the Alphabets from the Big Shot.
Above the Inks are punches, platforms, cutting pads, folders, punches, glues, daubers - again quite a lot of spare space.  I find as a catalog year goes on the cabinet fills up and when the retired list comes out I do a 'purge'.  You can see on the backside of the pull out boxes that they are covered in magnet sheets as well.  When the Holiday catalog and Christmas season are finished - I will move all of the dies that are not being used to the back which will open up room for all of the fun new things that will be in the Occasions catalog.

When I left my job in June I knew I was going to need a good chair.  I stalked all of the Home Goods - stopping in every one every time I passed one.  It had to be comfortable AND match my white farmhouse decor' - the biggest thing was that it was gold....not silver.  Eventually I found the perfect one.  However, if you look closely at the photos - you will see there are two different chairs.  My perfect gold leopard skinish chair wasn't perfect enough for my husband.  So the search continued.  Now when he is in using the computer he swaps over for his grey and gold Hilfiger chair.  Home Goods for the win.  My work table has an adorable rolling chair that matches mine. I don't like my feet to dangle (short people problems), so I got a stool to use to rest them on.  Unfortunately my work partner thinks I got it for her throne, so I rarely get to use it.

 I will get work table pictures soon!
 I used Washi tape to write the name and the number of pieces in each of the die sets.  Then when I put them up I can see if they are all there.  The sheets of magnet are from Amazon - much cheaper than buying them in the store.  They are glued to the inside panel of the unit and to the ends of the swinging boxes.

 The original inside (where the TV was to live) he built a unit that would hold all of the paper.  The top slides in all of the colors, the neutrals and holds plenty of space for the In Colors - watercolor, shimmer, glossy, vellum, etc.  Anything that is  8 1/2 x 11.  Some spaces I use for the assorted packs (usually because I am too lazy to divide them up).  One of the unintended advantages of this storage system was being able to see at a glance if I am low on a color.  I also realize there are some colors that I have not used in the entire time I have had them in here (looking at you Tempting Turquoise...but it's not the only one!)

 In the space under that are all of my 12 x 12 and scrapbook page protectors.  The magazine holders are a work in progress.  They are now reinforced, but they need to be covered - because they look....bad.  I need my work area to be pretty.  And pretty they are not.  I looked for a while hoping to find something better - but, really, these work well so once they are stronger they will be good.
 In next to it are some sliding drawer units from The Container Store.  These hold all of the scraps.  Not little scraps - I am pretty ruthless to how big a piece must be to be kept.  If the drawer is full then even more so.  I can only fit 6 drawers in the space - so I opted to divide them up by like colors, not SU color families (ie, reds/pinks, blues/purples, yellow/oranges).  I have an expandable file folder (also from The Container Store) that holds the scrap pieces of White/Vanilla pieces.

 The boxes above the paper...those have the die cut packaging, watercolor CRAYONS, crop-a-dile, glue guns, jewelry making supplies, etc.  I would love to swap over to all kraft colored boxes.  But you know when you are in the middle of a major renovation everything costs money.  Then you just want to be done.  Once you are 'done' it takes a lot to build back up to to phase two, lol.  Once I get the kraft boxes it will be a great time for a second purge!

 The light inside the unit was a great addition - especially if I need to work at night preparing for an event.

As you can see the unit holds a ton of my stuff.  My stamps are kept in built in shelves.  I have my clear blocks, scissors, and adhesives on my work table.  Under the unit are unfinished paper pumpkin and other kits.  If I could get a handle on all of the scrapbooking memorabilia I have in the room - that would be an accomplishment.

The room may look a little barren - but it is only because I chose to keep this side sparse since the unit is so large.  The wall opposite is a gallery wall with brick - so it has a lot going on over there!  Hope you enjoyed the tour - and hope it gave you some ideas.  Keep your eyes open on Craigslist or at the Goodwill.  I see similar units for sale quite often!

At Home With You - featuring Embossing Paste

Place a $75 (product) or more order via my website by August 25th - and I will send you a FREE jar of  Embossing Paste!

Today's Technique video features the new product - Embossing Paste.  I am sure there are many ways to use it - on this card I will show you two.

A few tips as you work with it.
It dries QUICKLY.  Which is great - for your finished card.  Not so much for leaving your open jar sitting there or for mixing up more than you may need to use for the project you are working on at that sitting.  So - don't take out anymore than you think you need.  You can see the small dallop that I use in the video was plenty for both my 'bricks' and the tree.

I started with ONE drop of the crumb cake refill first.  (and from what I have seen using it, the colors will not look true to SU! colors until the paste has had time to dry, especially true in the case of crumb cake - it looks weird until dry!).  Then with what is left of the lighter color you can add just a smidgen of your darker color.  For the topiary I added Tranquil Tide.  The two cards were made at different times, you will never get quite the same shade again!

The Topiary actually is a Christmas one if you would just color it in.  But because I used the Palette tools to cover it like frosting, they disappear and my tree is fine for summer!  I used the masks for the bricks.  I like the look of not covering the entire card, so I intentionally left parts of the corners incomplete.
It was touch dry by the time I was done with the card in the video, but not quite dry enough to firmly adhere the parts together.  Just a note if you want to do the same card at home - filming required me to run the pieces through the big shot before  - it would be easier for you to color them before doing that!  And obviously wait for everything to dry thoroughly before sticking all of it together.  When you are done with your silicone sheet, tools and mask quickly run some water over them or use a wet wipe to get them clean.  If you wait even 5 minutes and the paste dries....clean up will take longer than it took you to make the card!  Make sure to keep the cover and seal it back over the jar.  I have been using this same jar for over 6 weeks and the paste is holding up fine.  I have made several cards and we have used it at camp.  It is the kind of thing that is hard to gauge how much there is - but it will go a long way!

Finally - I am often asked how my watercolor looks so strong with the pencils.  No, it's not photoshop!  I just press pretty hard with my pencils!  Way harder than I have seen anyone else press. I rarely use one color.  My door is mixed with at least 3 shades.  I use one shade to line along the left sides of all the panels, maybe 1/4 way in and then add a line or 2 of coordinating colors.  The frame is brown and black.  When I blend the color with the aquapainter I pull it toward the empty space and if it doesn't all fill in, that's ok, I leave it.  What if a pencil breaks for pushing so hard?  Eh...  They are cheap.  Seriously - a pack of pencils is just a couple of dollars more than a pack of Designer Series Papers.  Even if I break the tips on occasion and they need sharpened more often - I just consider them a consumable.  Try it.  I think you will be pleased with a really strong watercolor look.  It also opens up some additional colors.  If I wanted to do some flowers with a strong pressed yellow and a strip of orange - it would be totally different than my door!

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed making it!  Please share my site with your friends.  And if you need a Demonstrator - I would love to service you.  I have a great Loyalty Reward Program and starting in late fall I will be starting a VIP Facebook program for customers!  Thanks for watching!

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Aug 18, 2017

Wedding? Christmas? New Year?

This is a sneak peek!  So you will need to check back in September for the project supply list once the Holiday Catalog from Stampin' Up! has gone live.  If you want a copy, message me and I will make sure you get one!

This lovely card is made with the new Year of Cheer suite.  What do I love about it??  Well - the CHAMPAGNE foil paper for starters.  Beautiful.  The designer series paper are all metallic.  The washi tape is also foil.  The samples in the catalog - so very pretty!

This is a card we will be making at camp in September.  Are you sometimes frustrated when you use the foil paper with the Big Shot tiny words?    Watch what I do for the super easy fix.  When I add the project list in September I will make sure to highlight that technique for you!  So make sure to come back!

Aug 17, 2017

When you need a Birthday Card for someone Gorgeous!

Here is today's video - it's quick even though you will notice that I did not have all my stamps there....and I double checked everything.  Grr.  On my sped up video version the 'looking' doesn't take quite so long.

The post yesterday had a close up version of just stamping the words with some tips on how to do that the easiest way.  If you want to make this or a similar birthday card, take a second to watch that tutorial.
The stamp set has an adorable balloon - maybe one of the cutest we have ever had. The 'two step' stamping also lines up very well.  You will ALWAYS get a better aim if you look right over your paper while you stamp, but I don't want to video the top of my head so I hope for the best when filming.  

You can pop over to my Youtube channel to see more ideas.  You can also click the "3 minute video" link on the side to be taken to all of the ones that are on this website (not all of them are though).  If you want to know when I post a video you can subscribe to my channel.  Easy to do - just click the video at the top of this post and when it finishes, click on my name to go to my channel.

I have a Drs appt today and then errands.  None of which sound fun and both of which I wish I could skip.  Maybe YOU have some time to go stamp something fun?

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