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3 Ways to Store It: Patterned Paper

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

So Many Wonderful Passions (closeup)

For years I’ve been recommending scrapbookers organize stuff based on the way they hunt for things. Well, I’ve been refining my own system and this year I’ve hit on one that has revolutionized it all for me in a way that no other organization re-do ever has.

Today I’m excited to share with you my 3-part system for storing patterned paper. I’ve never heard of anyone else who organizes like this so don’t give up on this post if the first two parts of the system seem crazy. The third part will make you feel better and with all three parts together you have every possible way I can think of to organize your paper.

Ready to see how it works?

Part 1 – Store 12×12’s by Mood and Tone
There’s a pretty limited number of emotions and moods. Our patterned papers reflect a good handful of them, both in the colors and in the patterns themselves.

Sort them by mood and put your favorite papers of each mood in the front. When you pull out the photo(s) you want to scrap, ask yourself what the mood is and then go to the patterned papers for that mood.

layout_moods

Paper choice used to be the slowest part of my process after journaling, but now I find my paper within seconds. I keep expecting this to stop working and so far it continues to blow my mind! If you’re skeptical, read what one of the Paperclipping Members said after she watched the related video tutorial I posted to the membership:

Oh my, I think I’m sold. I just reorganized all my papers using this method (I was using by manufacturer before and it was cumbersome to flip through everything every time, but color alone didn’t work for me so I stuck to brand). I feel liberated already. It took me less than an hour (I don’t have too much, maybe 80 full sheets or so) but I think the ease with which it came together indicates something. I started just putting things into piles and at first I had way too many piles, but I started to come up with preliminary categories and tweaking as I went. I found that as I continued I would come upon one or two “ah ha!” pieces that just totally screamed whatever I was trying to say, and then it was easier to put the harder to categorize papers with those obvious ones. I ended up with seven of my own categories that I feel great about.

The real test came when I was done however. I’ve been staring at these two photos on my desk for a couple of weeks now–I wanted to use them with orange and cut part of this truly pretty orange paper with a graphic white pattern. But something was totally off and I was making no progress. I looked at them again tonight after the reorg, and decided they were actually “whimsical/fun” photos and pulled out a large white/orange dot pattern from that folder. There is no comparison, it works now–even though the oranges are basically the same! It just feels better.

Thanks so much, Noell!

PS of course, when my boyfriend asked what I was doing, and I said that was organizing my paper by how it makes me feel, he thought I was crazy. But when he saw how quickly I was done, I think even he was impressed. He is used to seeing me obsess over half-finished organizational schemes for much longer than this took!

Part 2 – Store Scraps Together
All scraps smaller than eight or so inches wide go together in one tray, tin, or other container.

Yes, all of them, together.

Does that idea make you twitch? Well guess what? You will find the most enchanting paper combinations this way — ones you could never have planned, dreamed of, nor found in a store and created by even your favorite designers.

Whenever I go to weed out the scraps I no longer love, serendipity happens. Here are two layouts that have resulted from this…

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And just a note — I store most of my screen-printed transparencies along with my paper. They might be made of a different material but most of them function like patterned paper, so I don’t see any reason they should be separated.

Part 3 – Store 6×6 Paper Pads Together
Do this in a way that you can flip through them and easily see the fronts. Mine are in a wooden box.

Obviously, I’m the last to do this, not the first. But it’s a great part of this system because it allows you to hunt for your papers in some of those other ways we all sometimes do:

  • by color
  • by manufacturer

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This way you won’t be lost if you’re worried about not having your large sheets and your scraps organized by color or manufacturer. Because companies put a sampling of the patterns on the front of the paper pads, you can quickly flip through the pads to see what your options are. Then you can pull from there.

All 3 Parts Working Together
With this 3-part system in place you can now look for papers in all of the possible ways I can think of, not just one:

  1. by mood
  2. by serendipitous scrap accidents
  3. by color
  4. by manufacturer

Paperclipping Members who want to launch a study of topics related to this — organization, mixing and matching patterned papers, and scrapbooking with scraps or by mood through via design principles — can watch these video tutorials:

  • 209 – How to Mix Patterns
  • 192 – Organize Patterned Paper by Design Principles
  • 190 – The Whole Process
  • 172 – Making Backgrounds Out of Scraps
  • 158 – Scrapbooking with Scraps
  • 151 – Embellish with Clusters of Scraps
  • 141 – Organization Tips
  • 119 – Expand a Color Palette
  • 105 – How to Have Endless Ideas
  • 98 – Design Language for Crazy
  • 85 – A Tour of My Scraproom
  • 59 – Mixing Patterned Paper

I also go into a lot of detail about patterns and moods in my design course, Design Your Story from The Ground Up.

Want to know more about a Paperclipping Membership? Click here!

Scrapbook Storage: Tags

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

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I’ve divided my tags into three groups.

Medium to Large Blank Tags for Altering

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Designed Tags and Clothing Tags for Re-purposing

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Here’s where the two sets of larger tags go in my scraproom…
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Small Blank Tags for Altering

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My smallest tags sit in a votive candle jar, third over from the left on top.

Where and how do you organize and store your tags?

Organize Your Scrapbook Supplies: Journal Blocks and Spots

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Journal Blocks and Spots

This is where I keep my journal blocks and journal spots. I’m a fan of sorting things by function — at least as long as you search for things that way. I often get to a point in my scrapbooking where I want something small to journal on, or something unique to frame something else (and not necessarily journaling).

So this basket from Ikea is where I go searching…

Journal Blocks and Spots

You can see I have spiral-bound journal blocks from My Mind’s Eye and Making Memories…

Journal Blocks and Spots

…as well as journal spot stickers from Jenni Bowlin, scraps of lined patterned paper, and even a restaurant feedback form, which I thought I might eventually use someday and still figure I will.

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And up here it goes, very close to my containers of word + date items, and tags.

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How Do You Store Journaling Blocks?

So what’s your secret? How do you store these items? Is it working for you?

Scrapbook Storage for Pre-cut Die Cuts

Monday, April 4th, 2011

My Embellishment Box

Last week after sharing where I keep my die cuts and how I’ve made them easier to get in and out of their packages, I got this question:

Julie K in Taiwan

More good advice as always. I’d be interested in knowing how you store the cut outs from your die cuts. Do you cut multiple pieces at once? I tend to trade with my friends, but I’m starting to get quite a collection of cut out die cuts and I’m not sure how to efficiently store them. Right now they’re all in a box, along with a bunch of commercial die cut cut outs. Any tips for that?

Should I Pre-cut Multiple Die Pieces

When I was a brand new scrapbooker, my mentor friend brought me to a scrapbook store in Utah and we spent an evening cutting dies from the store’s collection. I was happy to pile up, since there wasn’t very much in the way of scrapbooking in Arizona at the time.

Not long after that I signed up with a die-exchange internet group where we exchanged pre-cut dies with each other.

What did I learn from this experience? I learned not to pre-cut dies.

I never used these cuts. Never!

Okay, wait — I don’t claim to know the answers for everybody. If you already do this and have had great success with it, then keep doing it. I can’t help but believe most of us won’t end up using most of them, though, and would better benefit from scrapbooking a page or editing photos than from punching die cuts we may never find a use for.

That said…

Storing Pre-cut Die Pieces

I do end up with some extras here and there. Sometimes it’s because the die automatically cuts more pieces at once than I actually want to use. Sometimes it’s because I need to demonstrate for a video tutorial. So yes, I do have some extra pieces —

Tim Holtz Die Cuts

Here’s what I do with them:

I treat my extra die cuts the same way I treat store-bought embellishments.

Inside My Embellishment Box

This is my embellishment box. I have a tin container for random items that don’t fit in with any specific group and that’s where my four pre-cut die leftovers go.

Container for Random Pieces

If I had enough to fit within a group, I would group them. So that’s what I would recommend you do if you have a lot. Here are a few possible ways to group:

  • By function: borders vs. images vs. letters vs. flourishes
  • By image subject: birds vs. butterflies OR winged things vs. hearts

Right now, I have packages of chipboard paisleys, butterflies, flourishes, and acrylic hearts. To me, those are the same things as my die cuts, the only difference being that the store-bought items have packages and my own die cuts do not. So I treat them the same.

Do you do something different? Does it work for you to pre-cut multiple pieces? Please join in the conversation and share what works for you by leaving a comment!

P.S. For the wine lovers who are wondering — No, I’m not a Chianti fan. And don’t give me no Pinot either. I love reds. Just not those reds. :)

Scrapbook Storage for Die Cuts + Embossing Plates

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

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Right now I’m keeping all of my die cuts and embossing plates in this decorative metal bucket. There’s only room for a handful more but I won’t be buying anymore for a while. I have plenty to last me a long time!

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A Tip for Easy Die Cut Retrieval

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One thing I refuse to waste time on are the plastic lips that close over plastic packages. Trying to pry them open and — even worse — trying to get the item past the plastic lip when you’re putting them back IN can really mess up your artistic flow. How sad is that when a bit of plastic is so grumpy that it scares your muse away?

I like to cut those plastic lip-thingies off so they can’t mess with me anymore.

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Look how easy my dies slide in and out of the package now! Oooh! Ahhh!

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Oh, the joy!

Scrapbook Storage: When Your Favorite Supplies Change

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Narrow Shelves

Not that buttons were ever one of my favorite supplies, but I did use them more often than I do now. I rarely use them now (except for those super cute Jenni Bowlin buttons!).

With such few button-activity going on, why let them take up valuable real estate on my favorite go-to shelf — that one that sits within reach directly across from my eyes? I dumped my little glass dessert dish of buttons on top of the masks I may or may not have destroyed when I applied my heat gun to my art journal page before taking the masks off (oops!).

Mess on my desk.

And there my buttons sat on my desk while I hoped to come across a cute bag for them to store them in my embellishment wine box. That cute bag has yet to appear, so I finally gave them a baggie

(Dear little buttons — it’s temporary! Something better will come along, I just know it!).

Anyway…

The Embellishments You Use All the Time

I realized I use Tim Holtz metal embellishments . . . oh, almost every time I scrapbook. Why have those been in a box I have to get up and walk to? Why not put your favorite embellies within reach?

Dishes of Metal Embellishments
Here’s another idea. One of the Paperclipping Members once told me that she puts a very different type of item right in front of her — items she tends to forget about but wished she uses! Very smart!

Dish of Metal Clocks

Either way, whether it’s buttons or ribbon or flowers or something else, pay attention to the changes in what you tend to use. Organize your space in part by what you use most, or what you wish you used most!

Speaking of what you use most — what are the embellishments you find yourself using all the time lately?