Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Tip -- bargains and scraps

I wanted to share a project I FINALLY did this week!! I've owned this kit for over 3 years. I bought it at Joann's at their "after Christmas sale" for 75% off and it has since lived in 3 different homes with me, still in it's box. Yes, I moved this thing twice!!

Tuesday Tip -- bargains and scraps

This tray was part of a kit from "Gallery J" by Colorbok and it was meant to be a cookie tray for Santa. I decided I didn't really like the papers that came with it, and with no kids in our house, I don't leave cookies for Santa. So, I used some papers from My Mind's Eye that I've had for months. This way it's a tray I can use at any season! So, keep your eye out for great deals! You can always adjust kits to fit your needs! Check those clearance aisles, the discount stores, and the warehouse-y places. There's all kinds of great stuff that just needs a little creative tweaking.

My second tip has to do with using your scraps. I often hear people say that they save all their scraps, but then never use them. If you look at the side of my tray, you'll see I used some scraps with the Fragments that Tim Holtz came out with.
It takes just a tiny piece of paper under a fragment to really spice up your project. He's got several sizes and shapes of fragments out there. Next time you think you have too many scraps, try using some of them up under a fragment. (Attach them with "glossy accents" for a clear adhesive that really holds well.) You can see more of Tim Holtz's fragments in action on his blog http://www.timholtz.typepad.com/ He's got samples of them all over, so look through his blog posts and his catalogs. You'll see some really cool tutorials and videos with GREAT ideas!

Happy Scrapping!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday Tip -- Game (a little late)

I know it's Wednesday, but I had a migraine yesterday and just couldn't get this tip up before the end of the day. But it's still a good tip!!

I was chatting with a friend on the phone one day and we were complaining about how we have all this scrapping stuff that doesn't get used. Either tools we HAD to have, or embellishments that we bought by the hundreds in every color they manufactured. We decided we needed a challenge to get us to use these things in our scrapbooking. Plus, I needed a challenge to get me to complete more projects (I have a tendancy to scrap VERY SLOWLY).

We came up with...


You'll need a friend to play with you!

Step one: Make your gameboard.
Make an 10x10 grid for a total of 100 spaces.
Label the columns with letters and the rows with numbers.
Fill in each space with a project, embellishment, tool, or technique.
Make 2 copies!!

Step two: Exchange and place the boats
Give your friend one of the copies and get a copy of theirs.
Place the "boats" (I outline the spaces to show where the boats are).
5 boats: 5 spaces, 4 spaces, 3 spaces, 3 spaces, 2 spaces
Keep it secret! Don't let your friend see!

Step three:
Now start scrapping and using those tools, embellishments, and techniques.
Tell your friend when you've completed one (I did C4 -- Coluzzle).
Your friend needs to check to see whether you "hit" a ship or "missed"

We exchange prizes for each ship that gets sunk. Often, we share some of those embellishments that the other person doesn't have (a baggie of flowers from that big jar, a yard of ribbon from that spool, buttons in a color we've run out of, etc.) and we keep an eye out for really good deals (dollar bins at Target or Michael's, clearance at the scrapbook store, kits in the scrapbooking section, items at Big Lots, etc). Every couple of months, we send a package of little prizes to each other, since we live very far apart. It's been a great way for the two of us to feel like we're scrapping together, even after I moved so far away from her.

Our game is always evolving. Change it so it fits you best.

A couple rules we came up with
* We can only mark off 3 spaces for each project.
* We cannot mark spaces that touch each other for the same project.
* Boards are subject to "approval" -- no rewards for using adhesive! :)

The way we've set it up, it takes a long time to play. You could probably come up with a faster way to play at a crop or retreat.

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Tip -- Wire Cubes

It's that time of year when everyone tries to be "more organized." How many of you put that on your list of resolutions? How many of you didn't because it was too daunting?

I had a friend one time tell me that she didn't want to spend any money on organizing tools for her scrapbooking space because it would mean less money to spend on supplies. I can understand that!! Especially in this economy, people all over are looking for inexpensive solutions to the ongoing dilemma of how to organize your things.

Someday, when we finally buy a house and I have a full time job again and we can afford to splurge, I'll pick out the perfect scrapbooking furniture and organizational tools. Being that we have lived in 5 different homes since I started scrapbooking, I needed to have versatile organizing tools that would work in very different kinds of spaces.

Tuesday Tip -- Wire Cubes

I love these things for their versatility. I've been able to do so many different things with them!

Here's how I have them set up right now. I've got two sets that I bought years ago at a Big Lots store. I think they were 10 or 15 dollars per set.

See the extra shelves and vertical dividers? If you buy those zip ties from a home improvement store, (you know, they use them to hold cords together and stuff) you can tie some of the wire squares in the middle of a cube. It works great to really use the space thoroughly.

When I first bought them, I put 4 cubes together and then used the left over squares to make horizontal shelves for a paper rack. Much more economical than buying paper racks that may or may not fit in the next space.

Notice the canvas totes? Joann's sold me those. They fit perfectly and can hold 12x12 items. I used to have piles of stuff in them, but as I get better and better organized, I've been able to reserve them for special projects. This way, I can keep all the special stuff together in one space, then when I'm ready to work on it, I can move the tote . I'm storing items to make a felt pocket advent calendar, and a board book collection project in the other. They're going to be gifts, but I can't say for whom ~ they may read this blog!

One feature I really like is the ability to hang things with book rings off the sides of the cubes as well. I used to put all my ribbon and fibers on little embroidery floss cards and hang them on the sides. You can even put your decorative-edged scissors through the holes in the top for a handy organizer. Need a way to hold ribbon spools? Rest a dowel between the sides. You could get several dowels in one cube.

Having moved many times, these cubes have been a great addition to my space. I was able to make a really tall skinny tower once. I was able to make a low row of cubes under a window. I can have thin shelves or large cubes. It fits 12x12 paper easily. It all comes apart and fits into a tote bag or box when we move.
So if you're looking for an inexpensive, versatile, easy way to store your things, think about trying wire cubes.
Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Tip... Ribbon Organizing

I've been trying to decide how to organize my ribbon for a while now. I started with some of the cropper hopper ribbon drawers, but quickly outgrew them. I saw the Lisa Bearnson rail system, but too expensive. I saw several containers with holes in the sides, but would've needed many of them to fit my current collection. I saw a lazy susan thing with 3 posts sticking up. I had at one point taken most of my ribbon off their spools and put them on plastic cards like for embroidery thread, but bigger. Unfortunately, that left my ribbon with lots of kinks and wrinkles.

Then I saw Fiskateer Lisa Pizza's example of how she decorated her scrap space and started thinking... You can see a video of her idea that inspired me on her blog La Femme Papier

As money is tight all over the country, I hope you'll all appreciate my cheap and easily expandable ribbon organizer. The whole thing cost me about $20 and I could expand it for less than a dollar! I have a friend who's neighbor uses a lot of ribbon in her baking business. They're collecting empty ribbon spools and sending them to me for the rest of my ribbon collection (only 1/2 of it is on the wall at the moment). You may be able to find a store or other business that would do the same for you if you need it.

Tuesday's Tip: Inexpensive Ribbon Holder

(only 1/2 my collection so far)

Supplies needed:

1 curtain rod kit with wall brackets (got mine for $10)
1 package (minimum) curtain clips (found 10 for $5)
wooden dowels (make sure they fit through your ribbon spools, but aren't too thin and week (less that $1 each)
16 inches of ribbon for each dowel (used my stash)
paint and brush (already owned)
Optional: tape to hold down ribbon ends on the rolls (I used blue painter's tape)

Paint the dowels - try one half at a time and let dry before doing the other half

Cut ribbon into 8 inch sections, fold in half, and clip the ends so it makes a loop

Install the curtain rod on the wall, hanging 2 curtain clips on it. Hang dowel from the ribbon loops. Add more levels as needed for your collection. Slide ribbon rolls on the dowels. They're easy to take down and put back up.

Now I've got all this extra space where my ribbon used to be. WooHoo!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tune in tomorrow....

Tune in tomorrow for my new feature: Tuesday Tip! I've got a really good one for you!

I know it's been FOREVER since I posted... well, a couple weeks feels like forever. We were much busier this holiday season than I had expected to be. We ended up going to 2 parties, staying overnight in another state for a family gathering, and stopping by a good friend's home for several hours, all for "holiday week."

Plus, I've been trying to reorganize my scrapping space, but it's been slow going. I'm not very motivated to do this. I was supposed to get a "hand me down" table when my parents came to visit and I had totally mapped out how I was going to redesign the space. Unfortunately, it wouldn't fit on the trailer with all the other furniture they brought us. It's been hard to rethink the space without the table. I won't be getting the table until at least next summer, so I've got to do something with what I have.

I can't work on my craft projects until I get my space done, so I have to keep going. You'll still get a great tip tomorrow. Here's a hint -- I designed a way to organize one type of craft supply and it was very inexpensive!!

My blog resolutions for this year:
1. Tuesday Tips. I want to put up a "prudent" tip every Tuesday.
2. Weekly Crafternoon. I want to post a craft project at least once each week.

Come back tomorrow for your Tuesday Tip!!