Thursday, May 26, 2016

Organizing Ideas: Stamp N Storage Die Tote, Organizing Dies & Framelits

Organizing Ideas
Stamp N Storage Die Totes

I have posted in the past about my framelit/dies organization.  I used the Tim Holtz Binders to store my framelits.  And this worked well.  Good for travel to crops.  After several years of collecting dies (and am a sucker for a framelit!!!), I had FOUR binders full and working on a 5th!  I was having a hard time finding what die I was looking for.  I would spend a lot of time flipping through the binders to try and find a die. Often, forgetting what dies I had or just not wanting to bother with getting them off the shelf and flipping through them.  At this point, the binders weren't working as well anymore.  I really wanted a simple organizing method that I could flip through, using my framelits more in my crafting, but also a system that I could still take to crops.  I found the perfect system for me!
Stamp N Storage Die Totes are awesome.  The idea is simple, a sturdy wooden "tote" that you can flip through to find your dies.  Now this idea needed some additional  organizing with dividers and I wasn't sure about how could I still take this storage to crops with me. (I'll talk about that later). The totes as Stamp N Storage calls them, are very well made, nice wooden crates to store the dies.  I can flip through them easily.  I had to decide what size tote I needed.  There are three sizes.  I decided the large would be good for me since I do have a lot of dies.  Then I had to decide with or without a lid.    This was the part that was hard for me to decide on.  I liked the lid to keep the dust out and everything nice and neat.  BUT....the place that I was going to store them wouldn't allow for a lid.  I decided to get two large totes without lids.  
Then I had to create my organizational dividers.  I wanted something bright and cheerful and durable.  I could have used cardstock but I knew the dividers would eventually bend.  I decided to use plastic folders.  I cut the folders down to 7"x7".  For each folder I was able to get two dividers out of it.  

These are the folders I used.  I wanted it to be heavy duty plastic, which these are a nice thickness but I was still able to cut them with my TH snips. I found these on amazon and for no other reason than I liked the color combos.  These were perfect for the cheerful colors I wanted. 

I also used my new label maker.....a LOT!!!!
The dividers got a white backed label so it was easy to read them as I flipped through my categories. 

My magnetic die sheets got labeled with a clear backed label.  I don't need to know the names of the framelit set as I am searching, maybe just for a blog post so I wanted it to blend it more.  Since I ordered two large totes, I divided them up by Stampin' Up only framelits and all other framelits.  One tote for each.  On the magnetic cards, I label SU for Stampin' Up dies and other dies got the name if I knew it.   This will make it easy for my travel option which I will discuss shortly.

This is a stock photo so you can clearly see the totes and how the magnetic cards sit in them.


I think I would be amiss if I didn't talk about the magnet cards that I ordered from Stamp n Storage.  These are wonderful!!!!  The best I've ever seen.  I have used vent covers for my TH binders and they work.  Vent covers are flexible which when they flex can allow a die to pop off the magnetic vent cover.  It doesn't happen often in the TH binders because I was also slipping them into the sleeves of the binder sheets.  But vent covers would not stand up so I could flip through dies.  These cards from stamp n storage  are STURDY.  If nothing more, THESE were the BEST part of my purchase!  They are more expensive than vent covers but WELL worth the money.  They come in 2 sizes and several different quantities when ordering.  I ordered all one size because it would drive me nuts to have two different sizes in my bins. I HIGHLY recommend these!!!!  


This is a picture that I haven't seen online before- it is the back of the magnetic cards- this is what makes them so sturdy.  Excuse the background, just wanted you to be able to see how nice these cards.


Now you really have to excuse the background of this picture- I really wanted to show how thick the cards were, this was in the middle of me working so stuff is EVERYWHERE!!!!!  MESSY MESSY!!!  


So this is my large Stamp N Storage die tote.  I am storing them on a metal shelf that I have in the taken over playroom.  

Let me talk a minute about my categories.  I used what works for me, how I would look for a certain die.  I have Alphabet, Basic Shapes, Borders, Christmas, Elements, Tags, Boxes/3D, Halloween and Fall and more.  I needed to label them the easiest way so I could find them.  My categories reflect that.  



These are my two large totes filled and filed!  It feels great to be organized.  Best of all, it is right next to my desk so I can easily flip through and find the die I need. 





I have plenty of room left in my two totes, so I can add more framelits!!!  LOL!!




These cheerful colors make me smile.


I promised to talk about my travel option.  The large totes are awesome, I am very pleased.  But.....they don't travel well.  The are big and once you get all the dies in them, they are heavy!  They are heavy right now and they are not even full yet. (the weight of the totes, the magnetic cards and the dies themselves).  My option that I came up with was to get ONE medium tote with a lid.  The medium tote is smaller, which will help with the weight.  I also got a lid so I can close it for travel.  My idea is that when I am going to a crop, I can flip through my dies, and takes several that I am interested in using and put them in the medium tote.  Once I'm back home, I'll organize the cards with the dies on them back into their proper totes.  EASY!!!  I have one system that works for home and travel!






I highly recommend Stamp N Storage.  I bought my totes and all the supplies, I wasn't paid for my opinion, I just LOVE them that much to promote them!  Anytime I find a product that I think works well, I love to share it. I think their storage systems are very well made.  I've looked at several craft rooms online that use their systems.  They look great and function well.  I also think their systems work well for the average crafter.  I don't have a fancy craft room at this house (in the new house I will!!)  I am currently taking over my kids playroom....slowly but surly, I am moving in and taking over.  One day I will have a beautiful craft room but for now, I use what I have. These totes work well now, but will look fabulous in a new craft room too!
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Simple Card Making Formula - great way to make a simple card

Many of you know, I love to craft and spend a lot of time doing scrapbooking.  I also enjoy making cards.  New crafters, and sometimes even those that have been crafting for a long time, have a hard time making cards.  I often do.  I get stuck for some reason.  I realized the easiest way for me to make a simple card was a formula for myself.
Sentiment + Image (focal point) + background interest element = a great card!

I first start with a sentiment- I pick out what sentiment to use from a Happy Birthday to a Thank you to a My thoughts are with you card.  That sets the tone for the card.  This is easy to do if you keep a log of your stamps.  I use Evernote.  So if I am looking for a birthday stamp, I search birthday in Evernote and it brings up all my stamp sets with birthday in them.  (for those that don't use Evernote or are interested: search my blog for Evernote post that I did to explain it).

The next step is to pick out my focal point for my card.  That is often an image stamp.  Once again I can search through my Evernote to find an image I want to use.  Often I have a couple of stamps on my desk that I want to play with so I might already have the image in mind.  

The final step in my formula is background interest.  Now this can be a stamp: Gorgeous Grunge or Timeless Textures are great background stamps.  It can be an embellishment such as sequin or  it can be layers of cardstock, ribbon, or buttons.  It can be anything you want to add to your card.  I do try and keep my cards on the flatter side so I am careful about the embellishments I use.  I love to use other stamps to create that background interest.  It's a great way to get INKY....and it keeps the card flat for mailing.  
The card below is a great example of this formula.  I used the feathers as a focal point, my sentiment, and my Gorgeous Grunge stamp as background interest.  Simple and easy.  This is a great formula for one layer cards too.  But you can make this as fancy or as simple as you want, adding more background interest.  
Hope you enjoyed this formula and I hope if you are ever stuck on a card, you can use it to make a great simple card!
Thanks for stopping by
Michelle!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stampin' Up Bear Hugs used on a Layout



I often buy stamps that I love because I just like them.  I am very pleased when I get to USE them!!!  I bought the Bear Hug stamp in the Occasions mini because it was so darn cute and those matching framelits suck me in every time!  I was thrilled when I was looking through my pictures and found these pictures from Vegas that would work with the Bear Hugs stamp!  I had to get INKY!!!
Oh, and a little hint to the new catalog.......Bear Hugs sticks around!!!!  ;)



I had to add the little mouse to my layout....because he is so cute!


I also did some stamping on the corners. 


I used my Kiwi Lane Design templates to help with the layout.









I love the little bow tie that you can add to the bears!










Are they not the cutest??!!  These bears would make great Father's Day cards too! Or good for a camping layout!  
Thanks for stopping by today!
Michelle

Friday, May 6, 2016

Lawn Fawn Scrapbook Layout & Rooting for You

Today I am sharing something a little bit odd, my pre work.  When I want to use a new stamp set to create an image, I use a test sheet: a scrap of Whispering White cardstock big enough that I can stamp multiple times on it. The reason is, I might have an idea in my head of what the image should look like, but maybe not a clear idea of what color ink I should use.  I make my sheet big enough so I have room for my first drafts.....second, third...sometimes even fourth attempts!
You can see on my sheet below, I was trying to stamp the image of the turnip, but not quite sure what ink would work best.  Since I was going to die cut these images out with my matching framelits, none of my "drafts" matter to the end product.  I also do this when coloring images.  I might not be sure of the exact shade I want to use, I leave a space to scribble a bit to test colors.  


You can see my multiple tries here.  Not quite the color......





I used these stamp set from Lawn Fawn, Rooting for you.  Normally I would use these stamps for a card.  I really wanted to try and use them on a layout.  This is one of the layouts in the mini album I am doing for my son.  It has tons of pictures of his school stuff in it, I wanted to scrap them, but not put them in a big family album.  This mini album is perfect but as I am working on it, I am finding tons of sports pictures of my son.  After awhile, I have gotten tired of my sports stamps, so I got creative!!!



I am sorry for the bad lighting, I worked on this in the evening and it has been rainy and cloudy for the last two nights.


I loved this little set of veggies!!! With their sweet little faces!  Not sports related, but the sentiment worked perfectly tying it into the layout!  


This is an 8X8 album so you can't add to much to the layouts.  Also I am trying to keep this book as flat as possible since I have so many pictures to get into it.  Using my stamps has helped me create layouts without bulk.


Aren't those the cutest veggies??
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Making Your Own Background Paper- A Flag Football Layout

Every once in awhile, I get an idea....I'm not sure if it is going to turn out well until I am almost finished with it.  This was one of those times.  I didn't have any sports paper in my stash.  I wanted to use the school colors on this layout (green, black and white).  I decided to start stamping and making my own background paper.



When I started, I started with the spiral stamp set, and kept adding until I got enough of a pattern I liked, adding stamps as I went.  


This is where I got INKY!!!  I kept adding distressing stamps, in with my word stamps, I kept building to the background.  I really like how it turned out.  I have a good stash of designer series paper but I didn't have any sports paper left, what better than to make my own sports paper in the exact color combination I needed! It was a good way to get INKY and use those stamps!!!  I have said this before, I own a lot of stamps.....BECAUSE:
I don't buy a lot of embellishments that I can use one time and they are gone.  I buy some stickers for titles, I will buy buttons or clips, ribbon, brads, things of that nature.  I don't buy stickers as accents, I make my own with my stamps!  In the end, I think it saves me money.  I have something I can use over and over.  If I get tired of the stamp set, I can simply resell it.  Retired Stampin' Up stamps often sell well.  I feel like stamps are the best way for me to spend my crafting dollars. 


I even used my fringe scissors for this layout!











I have had this stamp set for awhile, and I love the cheerleader.  But with three boys, I didn't think I would get to use it much.  It was fun to ink it up as an embellishment using my framelits to cut it out and dimensionals to pop it up.


Have you ever made your own background paper?  I think this is something I am going to do more often!!!  
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle
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