Monday, April 27, 2009

Studio Tour: Part 3 - Organization “The Closet” - Post #300

{Forgive me if my typing is a little wonky.. I just got back from the eye dr and my eyes are still numb… I will try to catch all my spelling errors and typos…. lol!}

I have this rather big closet at one end of my studio. It’s a 4x4x8’ space that Brent built shelves in several years ago. For the longest time it was just a “holding place” cram packed with schtuff. I couldn’t find anything in the closet. I just had piles of schtuff in there in various boxes and baskets and binders.

EVERYTHING was out of the closet after our little sewer back up and had been tossed willy nilly into various other boxes and containers for storage during the clean up and subsequent remodel. When I finally unburied and pulled out the “various other boxes” and looked at all the schtuff, I decided it was time to pare down. Nothing was going back into the closet if it didn’t have a home. {Clean Sweep, baby!}

I repurposed and reused most of my old containers in the closet and added a few new window front boxes from Ikea. I was able to clean out a LOT of junk and move my new Bernina sewing machine and basket of sewing notions into my closet and up off the floor. {Eventually I will sort through my two bins fabric and pare down so it can also be stored in the closet.}

Looking into the closet:


Top half of closet. The very top shelf is where I keep my archived family and business files.

ClosetTop Second shelf – idea books, misc. scrapbooks, TJ newsletter binder, old magazines {I did pare down a bit, but can’t chuck those yet… working on it.. hopefully by the end of the summer I can get thru them and pull out the ideas I’d like to keep and chuck the rest.} I also have a split shelf on the right side… I store my extra baggies, misc glues and adhesives like Mod Podge and Xyron that don’t fit with my other adhesive stash here. Below that is envelope storage and misc craft supplies like mini notebooks and post it notes.

The third shelf holds my favorite card sample ideas, misc projects, CTMH Solos alphas, misc envelopes for RAKS, a box of misc ribbons and fibers that don’t fit in my RibbonStak, and a basket of misc camera supplies {my old film SLR and lenses, etc.}

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Bottom half of closet.
Bins on the floor hold misc items. Left bin holds “items to scrap about/put in albums”. Right bin holds misc items to sell/give away/etc.


Top shelf {actually shelf #4} keeps my Paper Sticker Binders. One binder holds image stickers and embellishments and the other binder holds Alpha/Number/Word Art stickers and Journaling tags from when I actually PAPER scrapped.. {I prefer digi scrapping now and use these items for misc craft projects and cards.} Next to the PSBs are how I store my bulk 12x12 and 8x11 cardstocks. The accordian folder holds my scraps which are sorted by color. Next to that are 3 window front boxes from Ikea. {I LOVE THESE BOXES!} The top white box holds Altered Ego/Alterable Items such as tins, mini boxes, mini albums, etc. The bottom white box holds Chipboard, Chipboard letters, etc. The pink box on the right holds my open Owires for the Bind It All. {The unopened boxes are kept in the “store” room upstairs.} I keep my BIA machines on top of the Owire box.

The bottom {5th} shelf is my sewing and painting shelf {for now}. I keep a box of patterns, a basket of misc sewing notions and scrap fabric, my sewing machine, and two boxes of acrylic paints. The paper trimmers have found a new home sitting on top of the acrylic paints.

What you can’t see very well in the pics is that just below shelf #3, in front of the BIA box is a paper towel holder that I’ve screwed onto the wall. This comes in handy for messes and is tucked neatly out of the way. My reinkers are stored in a very shallow shelf that Brent built from scraps in the workshop. {It’s the prototype of a new Stamper Storage project.} There is a hook in the wall next to the paper towel holder that I hang my craft apron on. The back of the door is also the perfect place to put a removable Scotch/3M hook to hang my Fiskars rotary cutting mat and acrylic ruler. {I had them tucked behind my desk previously and they were getting warped.}


So that’s my closet in a nutshell…. It works for me! There’s no fru fru or expensive stuff going on in the closet, in fact I didn’t even paint the MDF shelves or put the baseboard trim back in it. It’s tidy, it’s organized, and most importantly everything is ACCESSIBLE.

Next up: Part 4 – Organization - Bookshelf and Desk Organization… {papers, misc blingy things, my “cutting station”, etc.}

{edited} PS... Did I mention this is my 300th post???!! Hot diggity dog!

Studio Tour: Part 2 – Organization I “Works For Me!”

I graduated the Inspiration Phase:  I learned what inspired me and I began to gather up my inspiration ideas and was ready to put it all together and organize it.  So when I sat down to tackle this huge task I decided that my old organization methods weren’t really working and that not everything was going to make it back to my creative space. 

And thus the many moons of sorting and purging began.   {Have you ever seen Clean Sweep?} I now have a big laundry basket in the bottom of my closet that holds a bunch of items that are going to be finding new homes.  Some items will be donated, some sold, and new in package items will be gifted!

The day finally came where I was ready to get organized.  {Keep in mind that the last 1/2 of last year & first part of this year was spent remodeling our house after the sewer back up in the basement.   We repaired the damage in the basement and replaced every square inch of flooring on the main floor, plus added a master bathroom remodel to the mix.  I did not feel much like blogging, scrapping, crafting, or organizing.}

Somewhere along the line, Alisha Trussell pointed me in the direction of a VERY COOL BOOK, “The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker” by Wendy Smedley {See link in left sidebar.}  There’s a super cool “workbook” that comes with the book choc full of quizzes and questions to help you learn about your style of scrapbooking and organizing.  THIS WORKED FOR ME.  I’m freakishly logical about how I think out these types of things and love to make lists and write out my ideas.  

Here is what I discovered:

1.)  I wanted to figure out a better way to store, organize, and make better use of the products that I already owned so that things did not get lost in space.

2.)  Clean and Tidy – like a “store”.  I like things lined up neatly and want to be able to “shop” for products from my stash.  Everything has a “home” to return to when I’m finished with it.

3.)  I don’t want to have to sort through stacks and folders and piles to find a product that I want to use.  I want things to be easily accessible, yet also able to be put away and tidied up easily when I need my space to resemble some type of an orderly office.

4.)  Current categories that work for me:
       *Color – embellishments and papers.
       *Topic – some papers and stickers
       *Activity – embossing, adhesives, machines, stamping, cutting…
       *Projects – current and past
       *Chronological – Photos

5.) Storage Solutions that work for me are things that are generally closed and visible or open and partially visible.  Some items I like to see out in the open, but they must be contained.

6.)  I need to be able to tidy up quickly before changing projects.  I can’t create in chaos (hence my lack of recent creation posts!).  I get overwhelmed by mess.

7.)  Matching containers is nice… however, realistically it’s not always financially feasible, so eclectic and fun was going to work for me.  You never know what you might find that inspires you or fits your space!


In the next couple of parts I will show you how I organize.  I do not want my studio tour to be about “look at all my schtuff… I got loads of schtuff”, rather “here’s how I organize and here’s my fun space”.  Do you know what I mean?     My goal for my studio makeover was to pare down, clean up, and create a well organized, happy and bright space for myself.   I think that for ME this works.  Maybe it might just inspire you.

Next Up:  Part 3 - Organization II - The Closet 
(It will be posted today, cuz I’m working on it right now… :) )

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prom 2009

How cool is this???   My friend asked me to help with her Prom  stuff, dress alterations and her Prom PHOTOGRAPHY.   We had so much fun one Saturday night sitting up till the wee hours of the morning with Corinna, her mom, and little sister cutting apart the sleeves and altering her dress.  We had some crazy laughs.  Poor Corinna had the hardest time using the seam ripper to remove the sleeves.  She just did not want to take that dress apart.

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We went to the Peteetneet school here in town.  It’s the school where Brent attended parts of elementary school and is now used for public events and exhibits and auctions.  It has the coolest architecture and I am glad that Corinna chose to use it for her photos.

Here are some of my favorite pics…  it was rainy and dreary, but so super fun! Thank you C & D for letting me take part in your big day!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Studio Tour: Part One - Inspiration

I am FINALLY getting around to sharing the revamp of my studio. It’s been a long time in the making. We’ve had countless interruptions… and let’s face it.. in the big scheme of things the studio has been the last thing on my mind (but always on my mind) to finish, share, etc. I'm finally buckling down and editing a zillion pics and writing it up. I will share the Studio Tour in several pieces... we'll tackle this elephant one bite at a time. :) This is my humble space. It's a wonky space in the basement that wouldn't work for anything else.

Studio Tour: Part One -Inspiration

(Edited: This is probably a recap for some, but some background for newcomers...)

It all started out simply and innocently…. or so I thought. I found this fabulous piece of paper at an LSS here in town and immediately fell in love with the color scheme and whimsical theme.


But it grew into a monster..... because I started to really think about my space and what I wanted it to be for me. How it would work with everything. How I could make it pretty and functional. How could I do it on a budget?

My tastes have changed completely since the day I first put together my first “studio” in this space. For the longest time I thought that the decor had to “match” the rest of my house decor – Americana Country elegance style… (a term made up by me cuz I’ve never seen anything like my decor and I love it!) mostly because my office space is an open walk through area from the bottom of the stairs to the rest of the basement… I did decide that the colors where the walls meet had to at least go "ok" with each other... lol!

The rest, I decided, was free game and that I needed my creative place to be a well organized, colorful, and bright space in order for me to create. I finally decided that I was not afraid of color… or girlie, blingy things. :) Thankfully Brent is very flexible with what I do to the house as long as it's not too "out there".

So I started gathering ideas… I saw some cool multi fabric curtains in a CK magazine …

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and started gathering fabrics and color swatches…


IMG_9194 IMG_9425 FabricPattern4Web
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Then I remembered I had some old windows up in the rafters of my garage that a girlfriend gave me a couple of years ago. So off to the carwash with some anti microbial cleaner and a pocketful of quarters. After about 30 minutes of scrubbing and washing in the freezing cold outdoors I ended up with a sparkly clean “new” window. I did not paint it or touch up the paint. Once it was dry and cleaned I took an electric sander (thank you Stamper Storage workshop) to it to soften up the edges and clean up the ragged layers of paint.


A few projects later and I had the base for my studio… we painted two of the walls 2 coats of Asparagus (card 410-D4) by Behr (Brent chose the color... ) and the trim in bright white. I made the curtains and some matching chair covers (aka chair bling). Though I’d still like to incorporate a cool blingy chandelier someday, but maybe in the next house…

TwoChairWraps4Web Curtainsnewties4web

I also had other some fun things (a kitchen witch turned Scrap Hag, Matryoschka Dolls, Polish Crystal, Silk Flowers, etc) that I'd collected around the world and misc items that were given to me by friends and loved ones that I somehow had to include and all of these inspirations helped me to figure out what I wanted to do with this crazy odd space that I have. I included these items because of their funki/wonkiness, colors, girliness, and sentimental value...

Next time… organization
How to decide what works for you and what works for ME!

Inky smiles & see you soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: DREAM

Have you ever felt like you just couldn't get a break? That the world is full of obstacles, doing it's "darndest" to keep you from accomplishing your dreams?

Do you still dream?

I read this fantastic story about this lady who I am sure you all have already heard about... Susan Boyle... the "big surprise" on BBC's "Britain's Got Talent 2009". Wow. Talk about AMAZING.


Click Here For The Video and The Lyrics
(YouTube has disabled the embedding of the video)

Good luck Ms. Boyle!!! You take your delightful & spunky little self all the way to the top! Here's to keeping our dreams alive. When it looks like the world (or the audience) is laughing and scoffing at you just keep your head held high and sing your very best. You never know when your dreams will come true!

Inky Smiles!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Full Plates, Birthdays, Crafts & A Winner…

Do you ever feel like you just have gobs on your plate?   Last week was one of those weeks.  I feel like I just needed to take a break and eat the elephant one bite at a time.   I still have gobs to get done this week, but I can at least see the bottom of my plate if I push some things to the edges... WAHOO!  I’m drowning in backing up photos so we can clean off that naughty laptop…

First things first:  I forgot to draw a winner for the Laughter TFT.  I told the jokes to my nieces and they chose:   JENN EMBRY!     YAY!  Jenn, pop an email to me with your mailing information and I will get it in the mail.  (A new window will pop up with your email client to start an email to me.)

My nieces (M & J) were here last week while mom worked during their spring break. (I have a new appreciation for full time moms of young kids.)  We had loads of fun hanging out and watching movies and wishing for sunshine.  We even did a couple of crafts!

First, we made Paper Bead Bracelets.  I cut out the strips of paper and the girls rolled it up on skewers and then I dipped it into melted UTEE in my new MELTING POT (mucho fun!).  We strung the hardened beads onto stretchy bracelet string and tied super tight knots in the end and hit the knots inside a bead.  (Easier for little girls to get on and off.)  We had a couple of beads left so I made a pair of earrings, too.

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On Thursday we ran around like crazy chickens and got Brent’s birthday preparations taken care of.  Grocery shopping, prepping dinner ingredients so we could just throw them all together when he got home, finding balloons and a birthday banner at the Dollar Store, and making a double batch of brownies for dessert.  (That’s what HE requested – topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge - in lieu of a birthday cake. LOL!)

Once the preparations were done the three of us retreated to the Studio to do a little playing with paper.  The last time the girls visited I promised them that we’d make mini albums on their next visit.    I had each girl choose several sheets of coordinating papers from my stash of extras and we went to town.


I think they had more fun giggling and goofing around than actually making the books! LOL!   We painted some Maya Road chipboard letters and then decorated them with some bling.  The books are bound with the Zutter Bind It All machine.  (I wish you could have heard the oooh’s and ahhh’s… lol!)  We cut up scraps of paper and used border punched to add interest.  The covers are 4x4 BIA chipboard covers.  Papers are American Crafts and Making Memories.


Mforweb JforWeb

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Later that night we had a GREAT time celebrating with Uncle Brent.  We had garlic chicken pitas for dinner and Brownies Ala Mode for dessert.  Brent was super surprised to open up his present to find an iPod Classic.   I couldn’t resist.  He’s wanted a new MP3 player for ages and has been eyeing the iPod.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Attitude

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”

—Earl Nightingale (1921-1989), entrepreneur, motivational author

In this economy and these scary times, I think it's good to check our attitudes and see where we stand. It's tough times for a lot of people, but I truly feel that we have to "think positive" and attract positive things. Not only does a great attitude attract good to us, I truly believe that we will see a lot of things in our lives as blessings rather than hindrances. For us, Brent losing his reg job was a GREAT springboard for other good things to happen. His new job has tremendous growth potential and he's also decided to gear up to go back to school and pursue his dream career.


Today is Brent's BIRTHDAY!!!! He's 37 today! WAHOO! He reads my blog, so leave him a comment and wish him a happy one, would ya? ")


On a side note:

I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be absent for a few days... My nieces are here for Spring Break... We're having loads of fun and I finally understand how moms have no time for themselves... lol!

I have unpacked the Scraponizer goodies and am working out shipping costs and will get those loaded for this weekend or by Monday! ANNNNND... My 12x12 paper storage showed up about 5 minutes ago along with a couple of boxes of assorted bling (rhinestones and pearls) so I have many more boxes to unpack and inventory and get listed...

Also, we (my laptop, but thankfully not Brent's work computer or our business computer) got hit by some icky virus/spyware on our computer. My guess is we (I) picked it up surfing blogs/digi sites or by opening a couple of emails recently from someone I thought I recognized. I've got to spend a couple of days sorting out what I need to pull from the laptop and get my data and photo files backed up and debugged so that Brent can wipe the laptop clean. If I get a minute or two to do somethign crafty fun (which the girls and I hope to do as soon as they're done watching Narnia: LWW) I will post and share!

Inky Smiles!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Shouting From The Rooftops!

I just wanted to share my excitement with you all!

1.) After 3 interviews, a personality profile test, and days of anxiety DH started his new "day" job today... he's been unemployed since mid Jan when his company shut down. Starting today at 9 am he is the new Business Manager/Controller for Digis . YAY! God is AWESOME and does watch out for us!! :) A BIG HUGE THANK YOU to all who have known about this and have offered up prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts for us! They are much appreciated!

2.) I have been PUBLISHED! YAHOOOOO! I came up with a technique called Pounced Stenciled Pearls which has been published under the name Pounced Cuts in the Technique Junkies Newsletter. YAY! If you're a subscriber, you can view my card and the tutorial that I wrote and filmed in the subscriber only pages. Totally exciting!

Here's the card featured in the tutorial I filmed for TJ online (golden card) and the original card that I made when coming up with this technique:

PSPearlsCard(TJ)_EGrotegut0 PouncedLeafPPearls-ErinGrot

… back to editing photos for my studio tour…….

Inky Smiles!

And Now A Message From Our Favorite Little Twerp




This is Josie. She’s the newest addition to the C’s family and subsequently she is now Mini C #5 and cousin to our Sadie (who is still not quite sure what she thinks about that mini black and white noisy thing).


“Little twerp! Come one step closer ... I dare you ….
I triple dawg dare you … ”



"Uncle, Uncle!!!!"


There’s something about little furry twerps and a sunny spring day that just really makes your heart sing….