Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We SO Enable One Another!!

It is so awesome how, when we have a question or are looking for a solution to a problem, all we usually have to do these days is search online to find what we need!

My craft room was slowly-but-surely feeling like it was closing in on me, and one of the reasons it was getting that way was because I had my 12 X 12 cardstock and Designer Series Paper packs tucked in drawers and totes and file boxes in almost every corner. When I realized that I had avoided going into what should be my FAVORITE room in the entire house for nearly a week, (!!!!) it was definitely time to re-work the system!! Off to find out what I could do with all that 12 X 12 that would straighten it up and also make it easier to access all of it.

So off to research what was available, and where better to start than on Splitcoast! Come to find out that a simple 2-hour trip to the IKEA nearest to me would clear up a multitude of problems!! Thank you, Enabling Stamping Friends!!!!

I "started out" getting two of the cabinets you see here:
Those big, lower drawers will accommodate 12 X 12 paper if one of the small inside drawers is removed. The paper just stands up in the drawer--no need to spend extra cash on file folders. I just used the white cardboard pieces that come with the DSP to create "dividers," using stick-on file tabs to label each color. (Yes, I had that many pieces of that white cardboard--that stuff is great! I'd NEVER throw it out!) One afternoon on the floor sorting my stacks and it already felt better!

But of course, I wasn't satisfied with JUST those. For the next week, I spent more time researching what other pieces might take me to my goal. It wasn't easy, but I managed to carve out a late afternoon/evening to make another trip to--what else--pick up another two file cabinets and look at table tops and drawer units!! I tucked the two newest cabinets in the corner. . .

. . . and replaced my rickety folding table with one that I like a whole lot more.

(Wow--I can see I've got a little bulletin board tidying to do!) I also picked up a nice stack of small drawers--that were "personalized" by our "joint-custody" dog, Sydney, before I even got around to assembling them! (She's not our dog, but we take care of her quite often.) Syd likes to chew on sticks when she's outside, and she must've thought I'd brought the "sticks" indoors for her. I left the room where all my new furniture "parts 'n' pieces" were stacked up for just a couple minutes, only to return to see Syd "snacking" on one of the drawer sides!!

Fortunately I was still able to assemble the drawer and it's as sturdy as if all the wood were still there--BUT WHO WOULD'VE EVER THUNK???? Especially since she had never touched a single thing in the house, even when she was only 3 months old. I couldn't even really get angry, because in her defense, there WAS an awful lot of wood laying around.

I'll have to make sure that my next trip to IKEA (although it probably won't be until summer) is planned for a puppy-free weekend!

Oh, and a big thanks to all you enablers out there--I LOVE my re-worked space!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Stamper Excitement!

After about 5 days of playing either the "hurry up to wait" or nursemaid game, this morning was a treat! (I haven't spent much time stamping the last several days because my daughter had knee surgery last week. She has really been pretty much of an ideal patient, but still, there are a lot of extra tasks associated with all this, and they're ALL stealing stamping time!) I held a "mini class" today for some new-to-stamping crafters and their "kids in a candy store" enthusiasm for the things they learned and the things they saw in the catalog re-energized me!

It's easy to forget about those early days of stamping, back when you had no idea what half the goodies in the Stampin' Up! catalog were for, back when there was little appreciation for coordinated colors and one-stop shopping. Wow! How spoiled we become!

The ladies in the class expressed an interest in the stamping wheels, so both projects we did used wheels for background texture and decorating the envelopes. I then threw in only a couple other tools and embellishments, in hopes that I wouldn't totally overwhelm anyone.

The Stampin' Pastels (chalks) are a good overall coloring option, so I used them with the Poppin' Pastels technique. After stamping the floral spray from the "Thoughts & Prayers" set with Versamark ink, we used q-tips to apply Lavendar Lace and Sage Shadow chalk to the image. That piece was layered onto Basic Black and Lovely Lilac cardstock and adhered over the crimped Sage Shadow cardstock strip with Dimensionals. The "Sweet Swirls" wheel and Almost Amethyst ink were used on the Almost Amethyst card base, and everyone was able to choose which sentiment they wanted to add to their card from the "Sincere Salutations" set.

The other project we did was a gorgeous card I had in my file that unfortunately needed retired cardstock, so I updated it using Pumpkin Pie and Apricot Appeal. The ladies were intriqued by the "Flight of the Butterfly" 2-step stamping set and I assured them that the different stamps DID NOT need to be matched up perfectly. They did a great job with it and loved the 3D vellum cardstock butterfly.

They all took catalogs home with them, talking of putting post-its on the pages they like. I just smiled, soaking in all that new stamper excitement!
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