Thursday, April 30

Day Thirty

The last day of our organisation project has arrived and it's all about organising the future. Making and keeping a to-do list gives us some structure for our creative work and helps keep us motivated, particularly when life is a little chaotic. Although I've titled this post "to-do", it's actually more of a wish list of the techniques and tutorials you'd like to try. I've drawn up a simple table for you to print and use that lists what it is you wish to have a go at, and where you can find the information or instructions.

I hope you've enjoyed the 30 Days of Organisation for Papercrafters and even managed to get a few things in your own workspace sorted and arranged. Please feel free to share photos or links to photos of your workspace here in the comments section or on any of the posts shared this month.

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Scooter Girl
digital stamps

Wednesday, April 29

Day Twenty-Nine

(Un-Finished Objects)

Don't worry, this isn't the part where I tell you to finish all those projects you have in your to-do pile - I would certainly need a lot more than one day for that! This is just about getting them off your desk (or chair, side table, floor...) and into an organised space.

Grab an A4 sheet of scrap paper and fold it in half - you'll need one sheet for each of your unfinished projects. Make notes on the paper, starting with what the project is, what materials are required and what still needs to be completed. Place the items you already have for the project inside the folded paper and secure with a paperclip. Now place all those make-shift folders into a basket or box and keep them close by your work space. Each time you find yourself looking for something to do, grab out one of the projects and get to work!

P.S. Don't throw out that scrap paper once your project is complete. Use it again for another UFO, to make notes, or to keep your work space clean when you're spraying mediums or testing pens.

Tuesday, April 28

Day Twenty-Eight

Creating cards is a passion for many of us, meaning we don't just create cards because we need them for a specific occasion, but rather because we simply love doing it! This often means that we're in possession of a rather large stash of hand-made cards that are sitting, waiting to be used or passed on to someone else. So let's get in there and sort, decide, organise and store.

Don't throw away any of the cards you've made, instead, consider donating them to your local charity, nursing home or hospital where they will be used by residents or long-term patients to send greetings to their families and friends, or sold to raise money for charitable causes.

Karin's Basket of Oranges

Karin's card has a definite retro-feel with the fabulous patterned paper background and the combination of colours. The pretty handmade flower in the bottom corner is actually layered card stock finished with an adhesive pearl.

Karin has kindly included a colouring chart:


Monday, April 27

Day Twenty-Seven

Pinterest can be a valuable resource for inspiration, ideas and tutorials, but it's rather easy for this tool to get away from you if you're not careful with it's management. Figuring out what boards to create really depends on how you work. If you like to surf Pinterest looking for card making ideas for specific occasions, such as Christmas or birthdays, then organising by occasion may be the perfect set up for you. On the other hand, if you have large collections of particular product brands, it may be wiser for you to set up your Pinterest pages by brand.

Whatever you decide, try hard to stick with the same system across your boards. Having too many boards means you're spending all your time just searching for the particular board you want, let alone the specific pin! Use the edit tool in Pinterest to move things around until you have a nice, streamlined index page that's easy to use.

Sunday, April 26

Day Twenty-Six

Today's task is to sort and organise your physical stamp collection. Again, this may be a job that requires several days depending on the size of your collection, but it's important to make a start and work in small sections until it's complete.

I have my own collection of stamps all bundled together in a basket on my desk, with no real system of organisation. The rest of the stamps I own are in various boxes and baskets around the room, grouped by theme, occasion or manufacturer. Today I've decided to spend a little bit of time better arranging my own stamps so that I'm no longer having to flip through the entire range to find a particular set.

Sort, decide, organise, store...
I've sorted them into groups to make it a little easier to find what I'm looking for. Placing labels at the top of a piece of card stock, cut slightly taller than each stamp set, creates simple dividers that I can place in alphabetical order in my basket.

Someone Sweet

I often use the same markers to colour mats, embellishments, ribbons and sentiment panels on a card. It helps to keep a consistent colour scheme across the whole project. Alcohol inks are ideal for colouring non-porous items, while water-based markers are great for papers and card stock.


Saturday, April 25

Day Twenty-Five

I have a bit of a weak spot when it comes to punches, and actually prefer them over cutting dies. Needless to say, my collection is quite large despite the fact that I cull them regularly, discarding those that no longer cut and donating any I no longer use.

I store my punches in a repurposed beside drawer that fits perfectly under my desk. I have one placed either side of my work space with room between for my desk chair. It keeps items nice and handy, but not necessarily tidy. Since I use them quite often, the drawers can end up in a bit of a mess... but it doesn't take long to get them sorted again.

Friday, April 24

Day Twenty-Four

Let's repeat yesterday's process with our embossing folders - sort, decide, organise, store.

I used to keep my embossing folders in a zipped folder specifically designed for them, but I found I used them less because they weren't within my line of sight and they were a little more difficult to access. I replaced the folders with a simple, rectagonal basket that holds my entire collection. I could organise them further by dividing them into themes, but at this stage, I'm happy with the system I have.

Carla's Sweet Card

Carla has created this card using a wonderful combination of warm colours, fabulous die cuts and pretty background paper. After colouring the oranges, she fussy cut the image and popped it up with some foam tape for a fabulous three dimensional element.


Thursday, April 23

Day Twenty-Three

You know the drill... sort, decide, organise, store!
Get your dies sorted into categories, such as basic shapes, borders, Christmas, words, swirls, etc. Decide what you're keeping, what you're selling and what you're donating, keeping in mind that there are only so many circle dies one person needs. Next is to organise your cutting dies in a way that works best for you.

Over the years I've tried various storage ideas, including folders, packets and zip pouches. These days all my dies are stored on magnetic sheets, labelled with the set name and manufacturer and kept within reach in a drawer on my desk.

Wednesday, April 22

Day Twenty-Two

The majority of the hand-made cards I create contain a paper insert on which I generally stamp a sentiment and write a personal message. I make these inserts from printer paper, folded and cut to be slightly smaller than the outer card. Since I tend to create only two or three different sized cards, it's not difficult to create these inserts in bulk... though it is tedious. Having a stash of prepared inserts saves me a considerable amount of time and frustration when I'm crafting.

If you also like to add paper inserts to your hand-made cards, then today's the day to sit down, drag out your trimmer and go to work making bulk inserts for all the fabulous creations you intend to construct later in the year.

Living Large with Jackie

The cuteness factor has been dialled right up with this adorable collection of cards created by the lovely Jackie Trinder. She has coloured each of the little hippos from the new Live Large set of digital stamps in neutral shades of grey, and then teamed them up with papers and embellishments in various colours. 

Jackie has kindly shared two colour charts for anyone wanting to play along at home.

You can see more of Jackie's work over on her blog:

Tuesday, April 21

Day Twenty-One

In the modern age, paper crafting no longer relies solely on physical products. Digital items are increasingly available including digital stamps, papers and e-books. Most of us have a collection of digital stamps, and that's where we're going to focus our attention today.

Storing digital stamps can be a little daunting. Some people store them under the name of the artist or shop, some under themes or occasions, while others have a jumble of files stored on their computer that they search through when the need arises. Although I'm going to share my organisational system with you, I do want to stress that whatever works for you is perfectly fine.

In my picture files, I have a folder marked "DIGITAL STAMPS". Inside that folder I have my stamps arranged by theme (see the photo above). Each of those folders contains individual digital stamps sets (see the photo below), which make finding what I'm looking for a lot quicker and easier.

For those who have digital stamps by multiple artists, simply add the artist's name to the end of the specific digital set name. For example: Bear Hugs_BeccysPlace. This will allow you to credit the artist where and when necessary.

Extend Your Stamps

I've made posts about extending your stamps on several occasions, mostly because I enjoy personalising projects, but also because it's a great way to get more value out of the images you purchase.

The little hippos from the Live Large set are ideal for hand-drawn additions since they have plenty of open space on their bodies. I added a cute floral pattern to Helga using a water-based pen, which won't run or bleed when I colour over the top with alcohol markers.

You can get a similar effect by printing or stamping images onto patterned paper and cutting around them with a pair of small, sharp scissors.