Friday, July 20, 2012

Made a Mistake? Don't Despair... Repair!

Sometime last fall, I completed a two-page layout that I wanted to blog about, but didn't since the layout was made as part of a gift album; I had to wait until the recipient received it. By then of course, my focus was directed elsewhere and writing the post had to be put to the side, but for some reason it was never forgotten.

The layout was for baby’s first year, and my intent was to leave mats for photos of the baby each month, with a large mat for the baby’s first birthday. (Knowing me, I probably started with a sketch; but it's been so long, I can't remember.) While doing the mats for months 8 through 11, I made a mistake and stamped those titles above the mats, instead of underneath. If memory serves me correctly, at the time I designed the layout, I intended to put part of the title in that large green space on the left and so stamping above those mats kind of screwed that up. I had already put a lot of work into the layout at that point what with cutting and inking the mats and pasting everything down. Not to mention having very little of the carefully chosen cardstock I'd used left. Besides, I'm really not one to start over when working on a layout. So....I just let the layout "sit" for awhile so that I could figure out how to fix it.

As inspiration began to unfold, I stamped underneath the mats... where the stamping was supposed to be in the first place. 

Then, I decided to add some embellishments in the large green space as well as between the mats to cover up my "boo boos." 

Of course that meant changing the placement of my title while trying to maintain a visual triangle and keep my title grounded. All in all... I was quite happy with the result. And the most important part was, I didn't have to start over!

So... if you've read this far in my post, then you're ready for this take-away:
  1. When working on a layout or other project, don't despair if you make a mistake that you feel can't be corrected. And definitely don't feel like you have to start over!
  2. Allow that project to "rest" for a little while... that could be minutes, hours or even days. Once you feel that the "resting" time is over, look at your project again as if seeing it for the very first time.
  3. Let inspiration guide you and allow your creativity to unfold. While your project may take on an entirely different look or move in a different direction, what results may surprise you!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rubber Stamp This Organization Idea!

People are always looking for ways to organize their scrappy supplies, and organization for rubber stamps is no exception. Several people have asked me how I organize mine, and so I thought I would do a post on stamp organiztion. I have tried several different ways to organize them, but as crafters you know that as you keep acquiring stuff, your storage needs change. I think I have finally come up with a way to organize AND find them that will grow easily (without requiring a complete overhaul) should I continue to acquire stamps (even though I don’t need to!).

Let me start by saying that I prefer wood-mounted stamps only because I seem to get a much better impression when I use them. I store them in the three-drawer Sterilite drawers. I have twelve drawers all together, and each drawer has two layers of stamps. 

Most of my clear-mount stamps are in these Memorex CD cases that I got from here. They were really inexpensive and seemed like a good idea at the time. The stamps are either on the original plastic they came adhered to, or on those laminated stamp pages that have been cut up. Then those are slipped into each CD sleeve; each case comes with 40 sleeves. However, once you start putting stamps in there, the case will not hold all of the sleeves it came with. This was working for me but the problem is each sleeve does not hold a lot of stamps which sometimes means splitting up sets. They also do not hold very large stamps. 

I have since found these Unmounted Stamp Files by Cropper Hopper (purchased here) and am in the process of transitioning all of my clear- and cling-mount stamps to them. They are quite large and will hold a lot of stamps. They also hold my CTMH stamps in their original plastic envelopes.

A majority of my red cling-mount stamps are on cut up laminated stamp pages and filed in these Sterilite CD boxes which I don't think they make anymore. Each box will only hold about 12 to 15 sheets and the sheets are very small. So I had a hard time getting some of my larger clear and cling mount stamps to fit in there. I did manage to get them in by turning them sideways in the drawer. I’m also going to move those to the Unmounted Stamp Files.

So… I guess you’re wondering HOW I organize them so that I can find them… By size? By theme? By image? Well… none of the above. When I buy stamps they go in the next available CD sleeve, or for the wood-mounted stamps, in a drawer that has space. I have indexed all of my stamps in a rolodex file so that I can find what I am looking for. It is organized into categories. I got this idea over at Split Coast Stampers and spent several days last summer stamping and indexing all of my stamps. If you look at the picture below, you will see the stamp with the hedgehog on the tightrope. On that card, you will see four notations: WM, 5, Penny Black, and Acrobat. The WM means that it is a wood-mounted stamp. The “5” means it is in Drawer 5 where the wood-mounted stamps are. “Penny Black” is the manufacturer/designer and “Acrobat” is the name of the stamp. Drawer numbers begin with “CD” for stamps that are in CD files. For my newer Unmounted Stamp Files, I have decided to label them A, B, C, D, etc and number the cards that are in them.

Now, I supposed I should tell you that after I spent all of the time making the Rolodex file, I don’t really like it. While it is compact and doesn’t take up a lot of room in my craft space, I think I would prefer to see more stamps at one glance. For example… if I’m looking for a “thank you” stamp, I’d like to see many of them at once. It would make selecting one much quicker and I wouldn’t have to spend so much time flipping back and forth in the rolodex file. Another problem with it is that if you want to see the image of larger stamps at actual size, they don’t fit on the cards. So I often had to cut the image from the package, or take a scan of the stamp and shrink it to fit. My background, Rubbernecker and Loralei stamps are a perfect example of stamps that caused me that problem. So… to combat that, I am now in the process of transitioning my index to a notebook with the same categories. At the same time the images for the clear- and cling-mounted stamps will be renumbered to match the new boxes. I can’t tell you how long that’s going to take me, but once that is done, I’ll do another blog post!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Declaring My Independence!

***I love being able to follow other people’s blogs by email; makes it easy for me to keep up with what they’re doing. Therefore, I have added that gadget to my blog. I’d love for you to subscribe.

Hey everyone! Happy 4th of July. It has been almost a year since the last time I updated my blog. Same ole song; life got in the way. Really… it did.

The school year was kind of rough. Being a teacher is not like it used to be. It’s summertime, school’s out, so ‘nuff said.

My local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. hosted our regional conference here in Phoenix in April. I was chairman of the registration committee which became almost a year long commitment. In the five months leading up to the conference, life shifted into high gear. During that time, I was still the editor for my regional director’s newsletter. Her last issue went to press two weeks ago so my work there is done!

I was diagnosed with multiple nodules on my thyroid last fall and as a result had my thyroid removed on June 4th. Other than my vocal chords (which may prevent me from returning to work next month), my recovery has been good.

I have put my house up for sale and am in the process of packing it up a little at a time. So far, there’s no rush to get my stuff out as the house hasn’t sold yet, and DS and I are already living somewhere else. Which leads me to the biggie…

I met and fell in love with a wonderful man, who has made it his life’s mission to take good care of me and my son. He’s warm, funny, loving, sexy, intelligent, talented, athletic and just right for me! (I knew he was a keeper when he wasn’t afraid to go into a scrapbook store on our first date AND paid for my purchases without my asking!) At the end of May, DS and I moved in with him. Prior our moving in, he made me brand-new scrapbook room complete with new paint, hardwood floor, desk top for my cubes, and diecut station (see pics below).  And he lives…. drum roll please…. directly across the street from my parents which makes my DS very, very happy! Life has been phenomenal and all of my cares and woes no longer seem important.

So…. on this day, I’m declaring my independence from:
  • taking on tasks or responsibilities that prevent me from doing the things I love and that bring me joy,
  • worrying about things that I have no control over,
  • worrying about what tomorrow will bring,
  •  negative people and negative situations; and,
  •  unhealthy living.

Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for future, and hopefully regular, blog posts from me!