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CHA Winter 2013 | Scrapbook Totes by We R Memory Keepers & Everything Mary

Scrapbook totes were not as numerous at CHA Winter 2013 as they were in past years, but at least two manufacturers presented pretty and practical solutions for crafters to store their stashes.

We R Memory Keepers

We R Memory Keepers offered a new “360” spinner wheeled bag and a coordinating shoulder bag.  The teal patterned two-piece set makes a beautiful, classically stylish statement for scrapbookers and other crafters on the go.

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Anatomy of A Scrap Space Design Overhaul, Part 2

Yesterday, I described the problems that had gradually and not-so-gradually developed in my kitchen scrap space to make parts of the space no longer practical for me after a year of using it.

So, after I took a brutal look at all of those facts, I came up with a plan to partially rework the kitchen area, keeping the things that were working – and even expanding on them – and replacing the things that weren’t.

The plan wasn’t radical, but involved a few large changes that will drastically enhance the usability (and long-term flexibility) of the space for my paper crafting needs.

The Overhaul Plan:

A New Drawer Unit: The biggest key to updating the space was to replace the cubes and Cropper Hopper cart with an Ikea Alex drawer unit. The Alex unit looks much nicer for my home decor, and provides a single nice solid work surface for my paper trimmer and die cut machine to sit on.  It also provides tons of nice deep drawer space for all my ink pads and small bottles of things like Stickles and Distress Stain, as well as great storage for all my small embellishments, ribbon, twine and many other supplies. This unit, with the help of an assortment of drawer organizers from Walmart, sucks up product like you wouldn’t believe! It’s greatly enhanced both the appearance and efficiency of my work space – a double win!

Ikea Alex Kitchen Scrapbook Station Continue Reading →

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Anatomy of a Scrap Space Design Overhaul, Part 1

About 15 months ago, I finished the creation of my new kitchen scrap space. This moved my scrapbook work area out of the spare room at our house and into the kitchen. Now, for the past few months, I’ve been in the midst of overhauling my original kitchen creation again to fix a variety of problems with it. How can it need an overhaul so fast? I believe that organization is something of a living, breathing process. It’s never really done because we as people are always changing and growing, which means that our organizational needs shift and change as well. What worked a year ago, or even a month ago, can suddenly be unworkable for us today.

So let’s look at what I got right, what stood the test of time, and what I outgrew and got wrong in my original design of the space that I am reworking in this next go-around.

To refresh your memory, here’s a look at what my kitchen scrap space looked like before I started the overhaul:

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Organization | Tips for Redesigning Your Scrapbook Area

The start of a new year is a time that many people – not just scrapbookers – start thinking about organizing, cleaning, and purging their spaces. For me and my scrap room, this process always starts way before January. I’m an absolute wimp when it comes to cold temperatures and gray skies, so as soon as it starts to get even a touch chilly outside I retreat indoors to my warm, cozy spaces. The problem is that after I spend just a few weeks in those spaces, I start itching to rearrange them and try something new. I guess I just get tired of looking at the same old surroundings!

I started plotting and planning my scrap room revamp in late October, and then after waiting to have time to make the trip to IKEA (the closest one to me is about four hours away) I finally started the actual makeover process in early December. It took about a month of work interspersed between my regular job, family gatherings, and Christmas prep and celebration, but I’m finally finished and am thrilled that my scrapping space now looks like this!

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My New Kitchen Scrap Space

Since I talked all about the recent moving and transformation of my scrap space on this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable episode, I figured pictures were probably due of it as well!

Up until last fall, I’d had a scrap space in our spare bedroom that doubled as my office as well. (I wrote about it awhile back – it had changed some since then, but the basic idea of the space remained the same.) Then when my husband started working with me full-time for awhile before he was sentenced, he asked me to start sharing his office with him for both convenience and so that we could spend as much time as possible together. To our surprise, we both loved the arrangement and have decided to make the joint office permanent.

That left only my scrap stuff in the spare room – until the family tag feud in November and December required a work space that could seat two people so we could both work on our tags together. We took over the kitchen table “temporarily” as a joint workspace. And something amazing happened…I discovered I scrapped more, and got more done, than I ever had when I was hidden away in the spare room.

All of the reasoning and methods of my move to the kitchen are pretty thoroughly detailed in the Roundtable episode on shared scrap spaces, but here’s the photos of what I’ve done for my new space, which is still actually a bit of a work in progress.

the kitchen eating area seen from the living room

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Organizing: Digital Elements

As I’ve started experimenting with digital scrapbooking (mostly for making photo books), I’ve started to accumulate the supplies to go with the new format I’m playing in. At first, there were so few that it was easy to keep track of what I had pretty much in my head and just browse through folders to find things, but now…well, it’s definitely beyond that.

It got to where I had to come up with a new way to find my stuff, and a new way to avoid making duplicate purchases. I had to be able to find what I need! I considered using the photo gallery tool in my Photoshop Elements, and I may still do that, but first I decided to do some basic file organization so my hard drive wasn’t chaos.

My digital elements are stored divided into the following folders:

  • Alphabets
  • Brushes
  • Card Templates
  • Embellishments
  • Kits
  • Papers
  • Templates

I will probably divide out my patterned and solid papers into separate folders soon since they are starting to get a bit crowded.

The next key was coming up with consistent file names that allowed my files to naturally sort themselves into the way I usually look for them. I wanted things sorted by store, then by designer, then by product name, so I came up with the following file name style:

store_designer_productname

Some of these items are abbreviated, especially store and designer names, to keep file names manageable. But the result is that I can see everything I have within a folder from a single store together, and then see what I have from each designer at that store listed together. Since different stores and designers tend to have distinctive styles, just like in paper design, it helps me to be able to have all of their items together since I tend to use them together. My file list ends up looking like this:

This way, if I’m using a product by a certain designer, it is easy to look for something to use with it that might be a similar style. And it is easy to double-check my files to see if I already bought that item on my wishlist (and forgot to delete it from the list) before I hit “buy” again!

Being able to use the filenames to find my files is especially important to me. I’m on a Mac and Mac OS X doesn’t allow you to set an image for your folder icon the way that you can on Windows. So when I’m looking at a folder, all I have to go on for the contents is the file name.

This method, which is actually similar in many ways to how I arrange my paper scrapping supplies, is working for me for now. I will likely have to use the library in PSE 8 to be able to do more tagging and previewing at some future point, I realize, however. ACDSee is a popular option for doing this on Windows. Currently there is a beta version of the ACDSee Pro software for Mac but since beta usually equals buggy, I’m in no hurry to take that on.

If you would like other ideas on how to organize your digital supplies, check out these resources:

Katie’s system is similar to what I use, only she divides stuff out by type and topic way more than I do and uses numbered folders to keep things in the exact order that she wants.

Just because digital supplies aren’t sitting around in messy piles doesn’t mean we don’t need a way to impose order on them to be able to find what we want when we want it. An orderly hard drive makes for a happy digital scrapper!

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