Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Tour Of My "Office"


Hey y'all!

How is every little thing? Spring has been beautiful so far, and if I could just get my allergies to ease up, it would be just about perfect! 

Do you like house tours? I am a little obsessed with them. I could click around other people's houses for hours.....it's a little stalkerish, I'll admit. Go ahead judge me...but....if you want to indulge yourself, I like to surf: Pintrest, Apartment Therapy, and Houzz

Just sayin'.

Something I have wanted to blog about for a while is my nifty little craft room. When I bought this condo two years ago, I started arranging this space, because I was so excited! I finally had a space to keep my supplies and work on projects! No longer did I have to quilt blankets on my dining room table, then hustle to clean every little scrap up. I had to keep all of my crafty stuff mixed in with my coats in the front closet. It was a finely tuned tower of awesome that I had to work really hard to keep away from eye-sore category  No more, people! I have a room. and TWO closets. Holla! I really wanted to take some pictures for myself and I thought I would share my set up with you-peeping is totally approved!

A few things to note before we depart our tour:

* In case you were wondering....yes, it is always this clean. ; )
* To some of my friends I refer to this as my 'craft room', to others....it's an 'office'.
* I am the kind of person who does need things overly organized. I like everything to have a place, but I don't need a bunch of labeled drawers or perfectly lined up boxes. I have a container to hold a group of things, but they are not perfectly organized inside. This means when I am cleaning up, all I have to do is grab the box or basket and toss the product in.
* I am also a person who uses a wheelchair. This is important only because some people might have taller shelves or things up higher in the closet, but that doesn't work for me.
*Some areas of the room never get used, some products never come up to play. As I was putting this together I realized that I want to revisit some of these to see if I could use my room more efficiently.

If you have a question about anything, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer!  I also linked up as many products as possible, if you want to get them for your craft room! 

The room is in the back of the condo, down from the living room and the hallway where I have my laundry closet. Right outside the room I have my Canon Selphy set up so I can print out pictures easily. I usually put that up when I have company over.  

Starting on the left...

Hanging over this area is a small collection of cross stitch pieces made by me, my mom, and a client I used to work with. They are old fashioned and dorky, and I love them!

1. Is a shipping box I use for spraying ink or glittering things in.
2. Photo boxes. Full of old pictures I have no idea if I will ever need again, but there they are.
3. Boxes of: cards I've made and envelopes.
4. A small 4-square shelf I bought at Target a million years ago. The cubbies are the perfect size to hold thrifted bread pans I use to hold supplies. I keep all my journalling cards, little tags and other things I use for Project Life pages. One pan holds my newer and most used stamps, plus an acrylic block and Staz On ink
 

My little dress form is a long-time friend from my college design days. Why is he wearing a green, fur lined cape? Your guess is as good as mine.

5. A Sterilite set of drawers that were used in another room in my apartment. Top drawer is adhesives, extra scissors, and a few other tolls I don't use very often
6. drawers number 2 & 3 are my 'theme' drawers. One is travel related products and one is holidays. It works really well for me to keep these things all together so when I want to work on something I can just pull them out. Here's what the travel one looks like: 


Moving on...

1. Cool old crate I thrifted. It holds pictures, receipts, tickets, things I want to scrap, just a general catch-all that sits next to me little tv and super old VCR/DVD combo. fancy, huh?
2. The first of many IKEA boxes you'll see. They are from this collection. I loved their price, they were super easy to put together and I like the simple whiteness. One downfall, they are thick cardboard, but after two years they are starting to show some wear. This big one holds all my letter stickers. (ahem, I know, I know that's a lot of letter stickers, ok?)
3. 6x6 paper ads, 8x8 papers and pre-cut cards
4. Bling Box-gems, enamel dots, flowers.
5. Ribbon and twine. I didn't take a picture, but years ago I read a really good tip to keep ribbon corralled. I seperate them by color into ziploc bags. I don't have them perfectly rolled up on clothespins or on spools....that's way to organzied for me. But, keeping them in baggies does prevent them from getting too tangled. I have 2 or 3 bigger spools of twine that live there too.
6. Heat gun and a few other tools I don't use very often.
8. Box holds small ink pads and bottles of paint. Two cosmetic bags on top hold markers and colored pencils.

 Now onto the closet peeking out on the right side...... 
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1. I collected these boxes over the years, that's why they don't match. Several companies make them (like this one) They are 12x12 and hold all my embellishments, divided. They don't match and are kind of ugly, but they work. The one in the middle had a broken latch so I got it for free-sweet! 


Here's what one looks like opened up. I bought a bunch of drawer dividers from the Dollar store to keep things organized. I do try to go thru these boxes every once in a while to re organize them and keep them tidy. I also tend to take everything out of their packaging, which saves a bunch of space.

2.Drawers where I keep my patterned papers, mostly divided by manufacturer, just to help me see what I have. 
3. I bought a dozen of these fabric totes from Target. They are perfect for the way I need to organize stuff. I can look in and see what I have, clean up easily, and not worry about putting everything in strict order. On these shelves they hold: die cutting stuff and punches, mini albums and things i make mini albums out of, fabric scraps, felt and vinyl rolls.
4. My cute little Cuttlebug.
5. In my last apartment ALL my scrapbook supplies had to fit in two of these brown baskets. I have no idea how I have grown so much, but there you go. Now the basket holds page protectors, empty albums, a sticker binder I haven't opened in years, and a file folder with paper scraps. More on that below.
6. Another thrifted baking pan and an extra IKEA box hold acrylic block and a couple other stamping tools.
7. My clear stamp binders-more on them below, but there are 4 of those.

**note: what you see creeping in is my expanding collection of unused picture frames. Really need to either use them or set them free to find another good home.


I tried to make good use of the dead space on the door here. 
1. Another great tip I got from the interwebs. This is an old cassette tape holder I bought on eBay. The perfect thing to hold my obnoxious amount of ink pads!
2. I have handful of these awesome crop bags from Studio Calico that I use to hold bigger projects in process. I love them-they have a zipper that never breaks, they are roomy enough to hold a bunch of paper and goodies, and I can hang them. 
3. This hook holds a couple of random things I don't have another place for. Kind of like another pile, but vertical.
I am not a paper scrap hoarder. I know some people who keep every little, tiny scrap of paper 'because you never know'. That would be complete chaos for me. I have more than enough paper, but I do keep scraps that are bigger than 4x6 and I stick them in this file by color. Easy to contain, but easy to go thru when I need a small piece.

 These are my clear stamp binders. I have a fair amount of stamps, more than some people, but certainly less than others. Now that I have a proper book shelf to put them in on I organized them in binders, taking from this idea from Jen McGuire. I bought a bunch of these CD sleeves that fit most stamps and divided them by subject (nature, baby, birthday, etc.). 

I picked up a couple of smaller pocket pages to hold my itty bitty stamps. You can see them in the second picture. This system works really well for me because I can easily flip through and see what I have, they stay neat and contained, plus it keeps me honest. These binders only hold so may stamps, so if I want to buy too many more, I need to get rid of some old ones. (and, really, what would I do with 500 stamps sets?)
Moving right along to the right hand wall, and the table I work on... 
Well, when I look at the picture like this, it kind of looks like a hot mess, but I swear it's not. I sit at the table and this section is to my right, and these are my most used supplies, so I love having them right there. Plus, everything is contained in jars and baskets, so it's not messy. OK, maybe I'm getting a little paranoid...lol. Let's move on...

1. Thread holder. I swear it's not crooked all the time (maybe it is?)
2. I ended up with a box of small jars from an old job and they were perfect to divide up my brads and little pieces by color. This was my attempt at making my room look like a proper craft room. Honestly, I really never use this stuff and I'm not sure why? Another thing to think about changing up maybe.
3. Metal drink holder from Target. Holds my mists, liquid glue and several roller stamps. Oh, and a flower from a wedding I was in. Just cuz'. 
4. Metal cup (probably from Target) that holds pens, pencils and my exacto knife. Underneath is a basket that holds glue dots, pop dots and stamping doo dads. Oh, and my bottle of hand lotion-because my hands are always dry.
5. Jars that used to be in my kitchen that now hold: glitter, washi tape and sequins. 
6. A Basket I got for a housewarming gift. In the large compartment I put: my paper trimmer, rulers, etc. The small compartments hold a few tools I like to use a lot.
**I'll talk more about this in my next post, but the mat on the table is a large cutting mat from Fiskars.
This is the wall behind me as I work:
I LOVE my bright, sunny window! It makes it so nice to work in ther and makes taking pictures so much easier. Some days it's so bright I don't even need my over head light. 
The magnetic board on the wall is from IKEA. One helpful tools I have there are swatches of all my ink colors (I found that idea on this blog). That might seem like overkill or a waste of time, but it saves me a lot of time when I want to pick out the right color for a project.
This kitchen island piece I got from Target.

1. a super cool old Pepsi crate I thrifted and turned into.....a junk drawer. Ha! 
2. My printer. This weekend I actually upgraded to an HP Photosmart 5220. It's wireless, and I've decided I have way too many wires in my life. So far I really like the way it prints, but I had this Photosmart 32something  for years and loved it too.
3. Some kind of single drawer I thrifted and it holds my wood mounted stamps.
4. My Silhouette Cameo. It rests on a piece of plywood that raised it up an inch or so, and I can store my cutting mats and extra blades underneath.
5. Previously mentioned magnetic board from IKEA.
6. My obnoxious collection of boxes. I actually do use a lot of boxes for gifts and such. It's kind of a clutter eye sore, but I try to ignore it. 
The plastic drawers and files just hold computer stuff, blank CDS, paper. Nothing exciting!
And, finally.... 


 This is the left end of my table. The bookcase that everyone has from IKEA filled with the boxes I mentioned earlier from the same
1. Holds office supplies, check books, etc.
2. My sewing machine and manuals. Oh, and my sewing box-a circa 1980's Muppet Babies lunchbox. Oh yeah, I'm that cool. (Actually, my mom was that cool, I just took it over-ha!)
3. This is my 'kids crafts' box. pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, other random supplies that I use every so often with the kiddos.
4. More office supplies (this one is another junk drawer that I seriously need to weed out.) I think there are batteries and my instax film in there.

Whew! Is anyone still reading? haha....that was a long one, but I hope you enjoyed my little tour. Again, if I can answer any questions, just leave me a comment!


By the way, is anyone else a 'piler' like me? I seem to have an awful lot of junk drawers/basket/etc....how do I fix that??

xoxo,
Michelle

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sending Out Happy Mail (cards with Hero Arts and Lawn Fawn stamps)

Hey y'all! Over the next couple of weeks I have several birthdays and special people I need to send some love to. I've also been itching to get some new stamps all inked up, so over the weekend I made this little group of cards! I used inspiration from several of my favorite challenge sites, I hope you play along, they really are a great way to ideas and inspiration. I linked their sites and all the supplies I used, so hopefully you can send out some of your own happy mail! 

#1-Thanks A Bunch: 
Inspired by A Blog Named Hero's Challenge #24- Create a Clean and Simple card. I used as my base a journalling card from Elle's Studio. It was a perfect background! I just added a piece of washi tape, and label and a few enamel dots. Easy-peasy.


#2-Happy Birthday
If you follow my blog projects, you know that I am a BIG fan of Lawn Fawn stamps (you can see other cards here, here, and here). I am also a big fan of Lawnscaping Challenges, a website run by a group of LF fans. I'm always inspired to make something fun when they send out they're challenges. Well, they are adding to their design team! They put out a call, and I whipped up this little number to show them my style. Crossing my fingers that they pick me to join their team, I think it would be too much fun to come up with challenges and share what I make with the Lawnscaping readers! 
 

supplies: Dear Lizzy paper, vellum, Lawn Fawn stamps, colored pencils
#3- Happy Birthday!  



Lawnscaping also had a regular challenge this week, and just like A Blog Named Hero, it was to create a Clean and Simple card. Just like my previous two cards I used a colorful paper background to add style to the card with no extra work on my part! For this one I just added some of my favorite chipboard, a few sequins and stars, a little washi tape. Done and done. 

And since I was on a roll.....
#4-Sending Love
I made a second card for the Lawnscaping blog! This one is actually a notecard to go with books I am sending to a special set of twins in my life. This card is so cute I can't stand it....and it was seriously easy to make. Those speech bubbles are sticky notes I found in the dollar section of Target. I can see myself using them 452308 times-ha! No, really, they are the perfect way to add a sentiment to a card, don't you think?
supplies: Lawn Fawn stamps, SC wood veneer, Maya Road mini envelope, Target washi tape, colored pencils

Thanks for stopping by-now go make some happy mail!!

Later,
Michelle 
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Perfect Cards for the Imperfect Situation *Warning- Adult Language Ahead*


Some days just don't go well. Some days, well.....they suck. Somedays deserve a card that will make you smile.  That was my motivation for making this set of cards. From Twitter I found out about Studio l2e stamps. This girl is my scrappy soul mate, I'm pretty sure. I ordered this one, this one and this one. All  hilarious (and slightly off color) sentiments.  I can see myself using them over and over again, in cards and in my scrapbook! Check it out:



supplies: stamps, Dear Lizzy paper, Staz On ink, Versafine Ink, gems from my stash
 

Truer words were never spoken...I mean stamped. HA!

Later,
Michelle
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Derby Recap in Photos (and a few words)

Louisville locals like myself know that the Kentucky Derby is more than just about the horse race. It's a two week party leading up to the 1st Saturday in May. Here's a few snapshots from my Derby fun this year:


My first Derby hat! Simple, but I loved it!

My first time at the Great Steamboat Race, from the Chow Wagon. The Chow Wagons are a story onto themselves. Holy moly, the things you see there..........crazy.
 

Day At The Downs. I got lucky with my company, not so much with my betting.

We may have snuck onto the red carpet to snap pictures like celebrities. Maybe.

The Parade!  The UofL mens' and womens' basketball teams were Grand Marshalls.

Will, from Big Brother. I'm a fan.
 

These signs speak for themselves. I love my city!
Hope everyone has a great week, see you soon! 
xoxo,
Michelle  
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