Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Tidbit: Spring Cleaning Part III

   Welcome back to the third part of my Spring Cleaning series!! How did your last week go? Were you able to get started on your "big task" from your to-do list? I hope you're enjoying this new series on getting organized! I really am having fun sharing with all of you!

   I'll be honest....I didn't get to work on my big task this week! I was wrapping up our taxes, finalizing plans for our basement finishing project, and working on upcoming workshops and planning! So I really didn't get a chance to focus on my plan yet. Hopefully later this week, though!

   There's no new challenge for this week, but I do want you to keep working on implementing your organization plan and tackling your big task! I know these things take time, and a week usually doesn't cut it! So keep working on it, and get motivated with the nicer weather that we've been having! 

Organizing Supplies Tips & Tricks:

   This week I want to share with you how I organize just a few of my embellishments. Especially the ones that I have a lot of like washi tape, ribbon, and stickers/accent sheets!

   I am the type of crafter where if I don't have it handy or highly accessible, then I'm not going to use it. This was a problem for me because I have a lot of embellishments, and I hardly was using any of them before my office remodel! Either I had to dig them out of storage or I had to thumb through boxes and unorganized bins to find what could work on my project. Neither of these things worked for me when I wanted to finish something quickly.

   First thing I did was look at ideas on Pinterest and on popular crafting blogs! I saw a ton of ideas for storing embellishments, but really it came down to "what am I going to really use?" and "will it work in the long haul?".

   For washi tape and ribbon, I loved the idea of using pants hangers to store my tape! I could hang these in the closet when not in use, and I could hang them from my cabinets when I wanted to find the right color or pattern for my project.

   I have a TON of washi tape, though, and knew I would need a lot of hangers. So I also decided to buy the We R Memory Keepers Washi Tape stackable dispenser system! I bought the base which came with 20 rolls of tape, and then I bought an extender and top tier. This I can leave on my desk or work space, and I fill it with the washi tape I reach for the most!

We R Memory Keepers Washi Tape Dispenser base with 20 rolls of tape
Stackable tier and post to add to the base system
    I purchased these online on a website called Blitsy! They have really great sales, and sometimes you can catch this set up to 50% off! The sales change week to week, though, so you really have to watch for it!

   For my stickers and accent sheets, I needed a completely new system! I originally had my stickers and sheets filed in 12x12 accordion folders. These worked for a long time for me! I originally bought them at Big Lots when I first started getting into scrapbooking again (back in 2006-2007). However, I quickly out grew these and would have to dig through them to find what I needed. The small sheets were always on the bottom, and I just stopped getting them out. I had too much for these folders, and I wasn't using what I had to help use up my stash!

A couple of my small Accordion File Folders that I used for paper and embellishment sheets
Inside of one of the folder to show how many sections there are to this nice organizer!
   If anyone is interested in these accordion folders, I have my extras, which are in great shape, for sale! Only $5 for the large ones, and $3 for the smaller onesContact me and let me know if you want them! Otherwise, they will be available at my big craft sale coming up in about a month!

   I scored another online deal a while back and got an extra large Clip It Up organizer! This base unit is 18" wide to fit 12x12 sheets (if I needed...which I did)! It came with some clips and some plastic tag labels to section off items!

   I had it stored away in the box until we started our office project. At that time, Archivers was going out of business up here, so I went to the store specifically looking for an upper Clip It Up tier and more clips! I found exactly what I needed, and was able to get it 30% off with the store closing sale.

   Now the crummy part about this system is that the "Simply Renee" brand has gone out of business as well. You can sometimes find the stands on sale on ebay or other sites, but they're usually more expensive. I had a couple friends score some deals from other crafters on Craigslist. So you could always start there if you want something similar.

   I also know that Michael's has a similar, smaller system that they sell with their organizer systems. I think they work okay, but definitely are more flimsy than the Clip It Up brand and cannot fit 12x12 sheets on the base unit.

   I have not added labels to my plastic tags yet, but all my embellishments are sectioned off by theme. I have Christmas, Fall/Halloween, Baby/Kids, and then by popular brands (Heidi Swapp, Fancy Pants Designs, etc). This makes it so much easier for me to coordinate my products and find exactly what will work on my project!

   I needed more clips, though, because I had so much that I wanted to hang. I ended up using the S-hooks from an IKEA curtain clip pack. I think there were 50 hooks and 50 clips in the pack, and the hooks worked perfectly because they are flat and I can fit more on the Clip It Up that way!

   Lastly, my CTMH embellishments! These I keep separate like my other CTMH stuff so that I can coordinate easier, and pull what I need for workshops a lot faster! For my CTMH embellishments, I use the medium organizer from CTMH! This awesome tote can hold a TON of stuff, and I love mine! It's easy to take to crops, move from work space to work space, and I have no problems finding what I need in here!

Medium Organizer with dividers
How the inside of my embellishment organizer looks for CTMH stuff! I have shimmer trim, ribbon, washi, My Crush Assortments, and bling all in its own compartments!

   Another great system by CTMH is the small organizer with the craft box foam insert and craft boxes! These handy boxes store a lot of embellishments as well, and you can see what you have a little easier! I haven't tried this system yet because what I'm using still works for me, but I know a lot of other people that like the small organizer better!

Photo courtesy of Fancy Melissa
   Hopefully this gives you some great ideas to start organizing your embellishments! If you have any questions or need help getting your hands on some CTMH organizers, please let me know! I would love to help you get organized this Spring!

   Keep working hard on your organization goal this week, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Tidbit: Spring Cleaning Part II

   Welcome back to another Tuesday Tidbit, and the second part of my new "Spring Cleaning" series!! Did you all make a plan last week about what you want to accomplish in your crafty space this season?  How do you feel about your plan? Are you excited to get started or are you still unsure what your end goal is? If you still are not sure, sit back down and re-work the plan! You need to make sure you have a definite end goal to accomplish!

   Bear with me this week! This post might be a little longer, but I want to you to get a good grasp on where to start with things and give examples of organization that worked for me and other highly organized people! So let's dig in....

   Today I want to focus on the "big task". The one that most of us put off and ignore because we know it's going to take the longest, be the biggest hurdle, and frankly might not be the most fun to do (at least for some people).

This is how I feel about office paperwork some days!
   When I was in college, I had a prep course/crash course for time management and organization. The idea that stuck with me the longest from that course was this: when you have a to-do list or multiple tasks you need to accomplish, start with the one that is the biggest struggle or will take the most time. This way when it's done, everything else will seem like a breeze to complete.

   Some people don't like this idea (me included). I hate starting with the most daunting task. I would rather get a lot of little tasks done and crossed off my list so I feel like I did more, but that still leaves the "big task" to be dealt with.

   However, you might feel about this theory, this is my challenge to you for Part II of this series:

 Find the biggest task having to do with your plan, and start doing it! 

   You might not get it done this week and that's okay, but you will have started it and now have a feel for the direction you are going!

Organizing Supplies Tips & Tricks:

   When I started my office overhaul last Spring, I was overwhelmed by the amount of supplies I had to go through, organize, sort, and try and fit back in my space! I didn't think I would have room, and I started to panic that maybe this wasn't a good idea! However, when the time came to start going through all my supplies, I broke it down into a series of tasks.

   The largest task for me was to go through all of my paper and organize it in a way that made sense to me!! I have a huge paper stash (like most paper crafters), but it wasn't organized in a way that I liked. I still could re-work my system today, but it works for me and I can find what I'm looking for a lot easier now! Here are some embarrassing, candid photos of the "before":

This was my desk set up when we first moved in. Everything was in piles and was shoved where ever there was room. I needed a lot more storage! You can sort of see some of my paper organized in the cubes under my desk. These didn't fit all my paper, so I had paper stashed in random places, too! It's hard to use what you have when you don't have everything you could use in front of you!
These are two huge boxes stuffed full of just pattern paper!! You can start to see that I was organizing paper as I was packing it in these boxes before we started the office remodel.
   How did I even start to organize my paper? Well I share with you what worked for me. When we decided to remodel the office, we had to pack everything up into boxes and bins and carry it to a separate room (mostly the master bedroom). As I would pack things away, I would organize them and go through them. I had a keep pile, a toss pile, and a donate/sell pile. I went through every sheet of paper I owned. Literally...EVERY SHEET! It was worth it, though. I found what I was still "in to", sorted by category, and got rid of what I'll never use!

   The 12x12 paper organization system I use works like this:

1.) Organize designer paper by brand (My Mind's Eye, Heidi Swapp, Close to My Heart, etc)
2.) Other pattern paper organized by theme/category (Christmas, Fall/Halloween, stripes, dots, etc.)
**I should note that I keep paper packs/stacks together. I don't separate them out.**
3.) Non-CTMH colored cardstock all together
4.) CTMH colored cardstock sorted separately (for quick and easy use of a specific color to match)
5.) Non-CTMH paper scraps filed in folders by color
6.) Specialty paper and/or chipboard organized in the same spot (Vellum, Laser cut, acetate, etc.)

   When it came to other sizes of paper, I organized those so like sizes stay together. I have an upper cabinet that has all my mat stacks, 8x8, and 8 1/2 x 11 papers organized on separate shelves. I put all my 6x6 pads in a cube system with four drawers. The other drawers in that system house journaling pads, tags, and notecards.

   Everything has a specific home, and all my papers are together in one spot. It is much easier now to find what I need because I have all my paper within a triangle reach around my center island! Here's some pictures of my new organization system to give you an idea of what I did:

Here are the same Michael's stackable cubes from my office before, but I added many more of them into my system! On the lower, left side of my desk I have all my pattern paper (as shown here).
Here's a close up of my organization system. I used chipboard and post-it notes to label each designer's section, and then sectioned the rest by theme or category (stripes, dots, Christmas, etc.)
These cubes are on the lower, right side of my island when I am standing at it. The organizers on the left in this picture house Non-CTMH scraps sorted by color. The papers on the right in this picture are what I have left of my Non-CTMH cardstock sheets.

These cubes are on the lower, left side of my island when I'm standing at it. These slots are for CTMH paper collections only! This way I can keep my business papers and projects separated and easy to find when I'm creating!
Some of you have seen this before!! My husband made two of these paper towers for me to help me organize and sort my CTMH cardstock by color. They sit on either side of my desk and house only CTMH cardstock, Fundamentals paper packs, and glitter papers! We used melamine board, bracket supports, and the metal sides from an old organization system from college to make this awesome tower! These make me happy just looking at them!!
This is one of my upper cabinets above my desk that house other sizes of paper! In this cabinet alone I have 8x8, 8 1/2 x 11, and mat stacks!
I have lots of drawers in my island, and a couple of these drawers house 6x6 pads of paper. Similar drawers in the same cube have tags, journaling cards, and notecards as well! If I need to thumb through, I pull the whole drawer out and get what I need!

   I know my "system" isn't the most organized overall, but it works for me! Plus it's much better than what it was before! I only have to take a step or two to get to all the paper I own!

   This definitely took me the longest to complete, and it was the first thing I put back into the new office when it was finished! It was so much easier to bring it back into the space once I had already gone through it and organized it!

   Another person that I will reference often in this series is Jennifer McGuire. She is the organizer queen of craft supplies! I love seeing her ideas and checking out her space, and I highly encourage you to do the same!

   She has been doing this a long time, and has recently remodeled her space as well! I am not nearly as "put together" as she is, but you're going to love what she does. Here is her video on how she organizes her paper:

   I love her ideas on organization!! I also love how everything is labeled! Eventually I want to have official labels, but my post-it notes work for now!

   I would love to hear what your big task is for this next week!! What will you be starting on? What's your most daunting to-do item? Make sure and share in the comments or over on my Facebook page! The more we share with each other, the more inspired the rest of us will be to start working on the same thing! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Artwork Spotlight: Hopscotch Cards

   Happy Friday, everyone, and Happy First Day of Spring!!! Woohoo!! Winter is officially over, and I'm ready for sunshine and nice weather!

    I have had a busy week of prepping projects, finishing taxes, and finalizing our remodeling plans for the basement! It's been a lot of fun, but definitely chaotic around here!

   It helps that I can "get away" to my craft room for a little bit throughout the week to de-stress and work on upcoming workshops, though! There's just something about playing with paper that is so therapeutic!

   Today I want to share a couple of cards I made using the Hopscotch paper pack! You only have 11 more days to get your hands on this paper pack before it's gone forever! Here are my cards using this super fun paper collection:

I scraplifted the idea for this card from the Seasonal Expressions I idea book pg 22. I substituted some of the paper choices, and then used the November SOTM: "It's the Little Things" and the "Love This Story" hostess rewards stamp set, Smoothie Striped Washi Tape, and Tan Sparkles to embellish it.
This was a quick and simple card I put together using scraps from the paper pack, the Junebug puffies (also retiring), Pixie Extra thick twine, and the "Happy to Be Friends" stamp set.

   All the supplies you need to make these cards and more are on my Online Shop now! Don't forget that some of the collections and embellishments from the Seasonal Expressions I idea book will be gone in less than 2 weeks! Make sure and get your favorites before it's too late! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Tidbit: Spring Cleaning Part I

   Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! It's a little cooler today than it has been this week, but it's still nice out! The sun in shining, and there are some definite signs of Spring quickly approaching! Have you been able to enjoy the gorgeous weather this week??

   Today's Tuesday Tidbit is about the "itch" we all get this time of year to start anew, freshen things up, and purge our belongings! At least this happens to me every Spring! I definitely get Spring fever and start planning new projects, organizing various sections of the house, and going through forgotten items!

   However, sometimes tackling a big project can be overwhelming and difficult to decide where to start! That's what I want to help with starting today! This "Spring Cleaning" series is all about going through your craft supplies, sorting your forgotten gems, and organizing for future use!

   Don't panic, though!!! Every major project takes baby steps to complete! So forget the excuses, throw out the "but but buts", and let's dive into those craft supplies to get organized this year!!!

   Everyone loves organizing things differently. So I know my system(s) won't always work for you, but crafters love learning how other crafters organize! I will share pictures of what works for me, and share ideas for what I have seen works for others! The main point is to help you get organized or to re-organize your stuff! Trust me....even I could go through my stuff again this year, and I just had a huge organization overhaul not too long ago!!!

How do I get started??

   This week all I want you to do is sit down for 15-20 minutes and make a plan! It's that easy! Every major project needs a plan or an end goal! Without that how do you know when you're finished??

   Everyone's plan will be different depending on your existing set-up, amount of supplies, etc. The big thing is what do you want to accomplish? Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm your plan:

1.) Plan a craft space (this is the most involved plan....this would be for anyone that doesn't already have a designated space they use).

2.) Get rid of supplies I won't use or haven't used (come on, friends...have you had it for more than 3 years??? maybe it's time to donate).

3.) Make supplies more accessible

4.) Go through supplies to know what I have

   These are just some beginning ideas! You can make your plan as detailed or as vague as you want because half way through, you might need to re-work your plan anyway! That's okay, too! As long as you have an end goal in mind, this will be a fun experience for you! Besides it's always great to go through your stuff and see what all you have forgotten about (trust me we all do it)!!

This was my sketch of ideas when I was planning my craft space last summer! I listed items I wanted in my space, a couple ideas for set up using what I already had, and then looked at my sub-plans to figure out how to make it all work. My sub-plans included making my supplies more accessible, purging what I don't use, separating my CTMH stuff from my other crafty stuff, and putting the items I use the most in the most accessible areas.

  I hope this has motivated you this week to take a look at your organization plan for your craft supplies! Next week we will talk about how to dive into your plan and start organizing your supplies! I can't wait to see what all of you decide to work on during this series! Feel free to share in the comments! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Don't Miss Out!!!

   I have loved playing with all the awesome goodies in the Seasonal Expressions I Idea Book! I found some new favorites, some classic must haves, and made some fun, new, and fresh artwork! However, there's only a couple more weeks to order some of the amazing supplies from this Idea Book before they're gone forever!

   Here are a few items that you are going to want to get your hands on before the book is retired at the end of the month:

Heartstrings Collection:

   This whole Heartstrings collection will be retired at the end of the month. This includes the paper pack, Complements, Accessories, and Workshop-on-the-Go: Cardmaking Kit!!! I love this paper pack, and have had a blast playing with it!

 Hopscotch Collection:

   The whole Hopscotch Collection will also retire at the end of the month! This is such a great Spring pack with lots of fun colors and designs to help ring in the Spring season! Don't miss out on getting the paper pack, Complements, Accessories, and Workshop-on-the-Go: Scrapbooking Kit for yourself!

Other Fun Items Retiring at the end of the Month:

Puffies Embellishments


Cut Above Kits

Operation Smile stamp set:

   The last major product retiring at the end of the month is the exclusive Operation Smile stamp set: You're the Bomb!!! I love this stamp set! It's full of fun images, great phrases, and versatility! You're going to want this stamp in your stash!

   Plus when you purchase this stamp set for $13.95 retail, CTMH automatically will donate $3 of your purchase to Operation Smile! Isn't that awesome?? I love that CTMH supports this awesome organization!

   The stamp sets in the Seasonal Expressions I are going to be available for the rest of the year, and any of them that have Cricut compatible cuts on them will be available indefinitely!

   The other products not listed here (PML, mini albums, twine, shimmer trim, etc) will be available until further notice!! So you have plenty of time to stock up on these items in the future as well!

   You can get all the retiring items and more on my Online Shopping site 24/7! Make sure and get your favorites ordered before the end of the month, though! The sooner the better since all of these items are while supplies last! Have fun shopping, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Tidbit: Artfully Sent Pocket Function

   It's already time for another Tuesday Tidbit! I am LOVING this warmer weather that we're having today! It's suppose to get up to 61 degrees here in Hastings today! Woohoo! I am hoping I can get my puppy out for a nice walk and soak up that sunshine!

   Today I want to share another awesome video demonstrating the Artfully Sent cricut cartridge! Today's video is about the Pocket function key! This is an awesome key for all of you Picture My Life scrapbookers! There are so many options and fun cards to create on this key! Check it out for yourself:

   Do you need to get your hands on your own Artfully Sent Collection? You can shop my Online Page now and get all of March's deals and steals as well! Have a great rest of your week, friends, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Artwork Spotlight: Hopscotch Layout

   Hey everyone! I hope you're all enjoying the nicer weather we're having this weekend! I am definitely looking forward to the "thaw", and I hope it sticks around!

   Today I wanted to throw a spotlight on this month's paper-pack-of-the-month: Hopscotch! I love the fun, Spring-like colors that this paper pack sports! Plus the patterns are really fun and versatile as well!

   My favorite way to get the most out of the CTMH paper packs is to get the scrapbooking Workshop-on-the-Go when it's available! These amazing kits come with the full paper pack, an exclusive stamp set, embellishments, and a guide with templates and directions on how to complete two sets of layouts!

   The Hopscotch WOTG is the perfect deal to get started creating with this paper pack! Check out the kit's contents:

   The main layout in this kit features die-cuts from the Artbooking Cricut cartridge and stamped images from the exclusive stamp set. The directions tell you exactly how to cut the paper, what sizes you need, and how to alter the layout if you do not own the Artbooking cartridge yet! It's really easy to follow, and takes all the guess work out of creating beautiful layouts! Here's my version of this WOTG layout:

   On the back of the workshop guide there are instructions for how to make an additional two-page layout using one of CTMH's "How-to" publications!

   Plus, while the Idea Book is available, there are instructions, directions, and helpful tips-n-tricks to complete the additional layout on my Online CTMH Site!!! You can download the cutting guide, see the supplies needed, and so much more! It's really an awesome perk that CTMH does for all their customers! Here's my version of the additional WOTG layout:

   Even after completing both layouts, I still have a ton of Hopscotch paper scraps left over! I love that all CTMH's WOTG kits come with enough supplies to complete the projects and then some! Plus the price of the kit is a great savings, too! You can save 11-12% on all the supplies by ordering them as part of the WOTG instead of separately!

   Have you had a chance to play with the Hopscotch WOTG?? I would love to see your creations! So feel free to share!

   If you still need to get your hands on this awesome paper pack, visit my Online Store today to place your Hopscotch order! Remember this is the last month that this amazing kit is available! So get it while you still can!

   I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my Hopscotch layouts this month! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Tidbit: Artfully Sent Sleeves

   It's Tuesday Tidbit time! Sorry I missed last week's post! We were out of town getting our Iowa house ready to put on the market! Little did we know that our realtor was going to sell it before we went live, though! Yay!!! That's one thing scratched off the super saturated to-do list!

   Today I want to share another awesome video demonstrating the Artfully Sent cricut cartridge! I can't get enough of these videos! I learn something new every time I watch them!

   This video is about the Sleeve function key! I love using the die cuts from this key! There's so many options and fun designs! Check it out for yourself:

   Do you need to get your hands on your own Artfully Sent Collection? You can shop my Online Page now and get all of March's deals and steals as well! Have a great rest of your week, friends, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring into March!!!

   I'm trying something new this month to help me with time management for my blog! Instead of re-writing my newsletter, I am going to link my monthly newsletter on here at the start of the month so that everyone can see the monthly specials!

   My March Newsletter is out with all of the steals, deals, and insight to all things CTMH this month! You can check it out by clicking the link below:

Candid Correspondence: March Newsletter

   Let me know what you think of this new way of introducing the monthly specials! I hope you all are having a great weekend! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!