Monday, July 19, 2010

That "New" Demo Feeling. . .

Little by little, I'm getting to all the areas in my craft room that need to be switched over to the new Stampin' Up! Color Collections. When I finally made a list (so I could feel like I was making some progress!), all the areas that needed an overhaul were pretty amazing. Cardstock, pads, markers, cartridges, spots, reinkers, ribbons, embellishments. . . . No wonder I was feeling a little overwhelmed!

Of course, someone who shall not be named who lives under this same roof might make the comment that if I didn't have so much stuff, there wouldn't be. . . . Yeah, yeah, we're not even going to go there, Mr. I-have-so-many-different-electronic-gizmos-I-don't-know-which-cable-is-which! It's MY stuff and I NEED ALL OF IT!

So anyway, back to the project. As I've been working on swaps and things, I've found myself floundering a bit, not knowing quite where a particular color belongs. Is Regal Rose really a "Bright" now? Then shouldn't we rename it "Bright Rose?" I feel like I did when I was brand new to Stampin' Up! Back then I had everything labeled BB, SS, RR, or EE, depending on which color family it belonged to, and here, 10 years later, I'm finding that I need to do the exact same thing so that I can learn that my ol' EE friend, Old Olive, is now a Brights guy.

I started with my ink pad collection, making labels for the ends of the pads on the computer. There are numerous ways to organize these things, but I decided that I would store my pads and markers in their color collections, alphabetically by color name. Brights pads are on the first two shelves, Neutrals on the next two, then Subtles and Regals.

When I typed out the labels, I had to also include the name of the collection so I will keep everything straight while I adjust to the new system. I also penned in a letter and number to help keep them in alphabetical order. I know, a bit much, but my brain seems to need this much organization.

My markers, despite several color updates over the years, have always lived in my original marker box, the one with the insert that has the colors listed on the side rather than the back of the box like they are now. I can see it from my desk chair and I'm used to it. Of course it was a major pain to re-do this because I needed to cut samples of each color and stick them to the box, but the now-retired triple arrow punch actually made this a little easier. One of the arrow parts was the exact width I needed. I did this over the course of a few days, so it didn't get too tedious.

When I went through my ink cartridges, I was really surprised at how many cartridges I had in colors that were no longer current. I saved a lot of them, but there were a few that I knew I'd probably never need again, so it was off to the kitchen sink for them! Ten minutes under a stream of cold water (or until the water coming out of the cartridge runs clear), paper towel and some drying time, and voila! Cartridges ready for a new life!!

I've been doing this for a number of years because I'd much rather buy a new stamp set or another roll of ribbon than a new ink cartridge. It works very well! I just make sure to grab a "pre-used" cartridge of similar color, in case there's some residual ink in there. I don't think I'd grab a previously-red cartridge and plan on putting a blue or green in there, but one of those cartridges in the picture was probably Forest Foliage in its previous life, and it's just waiting to become Wild Wasabi or maybe Early Espresso.

So anyway, that's what I've been doing to fill up any spare time I might find. (I'm also unmounting a some retired stamp sets, but that's a story for another day.) As usual, there are all sorts of projects going on here. Melissa's having a party for her 16th birthday, I'm prepping for my New Catalog Open House this coming Friday (11 AM-7PM--if you're in the area, please stop in!) and we just finished several weeks of involvement with the musical our high school puts on every summer.

I got to "play" a bit while wrapping the gift cards for the directors of the play, making some boxes out of cardstock I decorated using My Digital Studio. The boxes look like they've been wrapped with Designer Series Paper, but because I wanted the boxes to be a bit more sturdy, I printed the designs onto the cardstock and went from there. It's always fun to "have" to use my "toys" when working on an outside project.

Hope you're getting some time to play with your toys too--and like I said, if you're in my area, please stop in Friday to see lots of the new toys we have in the new catalog. I'd love to see you!!

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