Video: Ink Swatch Book

Hello! Today I have some organizational fun for you. I have *finally* found an ink swatch system that works for me and I am excited to share it in case it works for you, too! I also have several free downloads for you… ink swatches for my favorite inks.

I have tried 3 different systems and show them all in the video. The system I focused on today is the one I found works best for me – the ink swatch book. However, we are all different! One of the others may be better for you. But in case you like the one I like, I have several free downloads for you below.

I use coin pages to hold my 2” x 2” ink swatches and hold the pages together with ring clips. The Simon Says Stamp Swatch Stamp works perfectly for getting a nice ink sample on each square. (However, you can use any stamp you may have.) This makes for a very convenient ink organization system. I love it! I plan to also add my cardstock swatches to the book.

FREE DOWNLOADS

Since I was already creating the swatch files for my favorite inks, I thought I would share them here. All you have to do it download the files (click DOWNLOAD for each) and print on your favorite white cardstock. (I printed mine on Neenah since that is what I use most.) Some inks have more than one page since there are so many colors. The last link is an editable file so you can do other inks. You will need PS or PS Elements to edit it.

[ETA... click HERE for an updated list of downloads. I have many more!]

If you like different inks than me, you can easily create your own swatches by cutting 2″ x 2″ squares and writing the name on the bottom or using a label maker.

I feel so relieved to have a system that works for me. I hope it works for you, too! I would love to hear how you currently keep track of your ink colors – please share below. See you soon.

SUPPLIES

VIDEO: Stencil Storage… and Giveaway!

Hi! Lately I have been sharing a lot of organizational tips (see links below) since I have been finally finishing my new craft room. (Yes – it is done! I hope to share it all in a few weeks.) Today I am sharing my stencil storage… after many requests due to the growing popularity of stencils.


(Supplies are listed in the thumbnails at the end of this post.)

SLEEVES

As I show in the video, I keep my stencils in sleeves that are about 6.5″ x 6.5″. The sleeves (found HERE) actually come with an adhesive flap which I just cut off. By keeping my stencils in sleeves, I don’t get them tangled or icky. I found these sleeves fit most of my stencils. (This doesn’t include the Tim Holtz stencils which I keep on a ring anyway.)

I labeled my sleeves in the same way I label my stamps and dies – using my favorite label maker. (Head HERE for a video showing this label maker in action.)

CATEGORIES

I keep my stencil sleeves in categories (which I share in the video) with plastic dividers. The dividers are cut from inexpensive plastic folders I got on clearance at an office supply store. (They are similar to the ones I found HERE.) I just added category titles using clear label in my label maker and rounded the corners with my Corner Chomper.

Since stencils are thin, these sleeves are thin… making for a storage system that doesn’t take up much room! You could easily store your stencils in any container you may already have. But I found two that I really like. If you have seen my stamp storage (HERE), die storage (HERE) or ink storage (HERE), you know I love InterDesign Linus storage containers. Both of my options are from this great line.

STORAGE OPTION #1

My first (and favorite!) option is the Linus 6″ Pullz. I found it is the perfect size to hold my stencil sleeves, Tim Holtz stencils (see them in the back?), my two most often used embossing pastes and embossing paste tool. It takes up so little room and is easy to grab and get creating. (It measures approximately 11.5″ x 6″ x 3.5″)

STORAGE OPTION #2

My second option is the Linus 8″ Pullz. This is just a tiny bit bigger but holds quite a bit more because the stencils can fit along the width. As you can see in the photo, my stencil sleeves fit in the front with the Tim Holtz stencils on the side. Behind the stencil sleeves are 6 jars of paste and my paste tool. Again, it is sturdy and easy to grab and get creating. (It measures approximately 11.5″ x 8″ x 3.5″)

I hope this was helpful! Before we go, here are a few more links that might be helpful:

(By the way, I have NO connection with the company that makes these containers. I just really like them.)

GIVEAWAY

Want to try these stencil sleeves? Leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 2/16/14 for your chance to win a pack of 100 sleeves! Good luck.

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson, click on EH and for Amazon, click on AMZ

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AMZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AMZ )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AMZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

Video: Project Life Organization.

Hello! Today I have something a bit different.

I have decided I am going to take on Project Life memory keeping… but do it my own low-pressure, stamping-filled way. I promise I (and my blog) will remain very focused on cardmaking, but I hope to share Project Life scrapbooking once in awhile.

I recently posted on Instagram a photo of one of my Project Life storage pieces and got a lot of questions. So I decided to throw together a quick video showing some Project Life storage pieces.

The first piece wins the award for “cutest storage”…

This piece is the “I Could’ve Been a Container” Desk Storage piece from The Land of Nod. (I LOVE LOVE LOVE this store and the playfulness.) It is adorable and comes in several colors. It measures approximately 10.5″ wide x 7″ deep x 6″ tall. You can find it HERE – just search on “container” and it will pop up.

This next option is my favorite. I will use the cute one above for my desktop, but this is the one I will likely use for all the basic storage and store it in my Alex drawers from Ikea

This storage piece is divided into three compartments. The back two are great for 3×4 cards and the front is good for 4×6 cards or photos. Note that I don’t have enough cards yet to fill this. It has a lot of room! Here is a better look…

This container is incredibly durable and so very awesome. I use the same one for many things in my office… and the same brand for my stamp storage (which you can see HERE). You can find this piece HERE and it measures approximately 8″ wide x 11.5″ deep x 3.5″ tall.

Next up is a long and narrow option. This would be great if you want to have something good to line up one by one…

I use this long and narrow container for many things in my craft room… and it works perfectly for PL cards. You can get the updated version on this container HERE (which I think would be better) or the same one I used HERE. This one measures approximately 4″ wide x 14″ deep x 4″ tall.

The last option is this smallest one

This container allows the PL cards to be stored sideways and would be a good option if you have a shelf with limited height. (Note that my dividers are too tall – I just used the ones from the other containers.) You can get this smaller container HERE and it measures approximately 5″ wide x 12″ deep X 3″ tall.

If you are wondering about those yellow dividers, here is a bit more info…

I bought several inexpensive yellow plastic folders from Office Depot and cut them to 3″ x 4.5″. After rounding the corners, I added my label with my handy Brother Label Maker. (You can see how I use this label maker at the 8:09 mark in the video HERE.) This works great!

Again, this Project Life storage is much like my stamp storage, which you can find out more about HERE.

Note: Please visit each site for exact measurements, etc.

Hope this helps! Are you a Project Lifer? Would love to hear your tips!

SUPPLIES

Distress Paint and Distress Stain Storage

Hello! Just a quick post for you today. But a fun one. :)

Lately, Colin and I finalized my Distress Paint and Distress Stain Storage. And eek! It makes me happy.

I again used my favorite storage piece – the Fridge Binz Storage Container. (I also use these storage units for my clear/cling stamp, die and handmade card storage.) I love this container – it is very durable and looks great.

I have all my Distress Paints on one side and my Distress Stains on the other. Perfect.

I have put small color labels on the top of all of the Stains and Paints, thanks to the free and awesome download from Ranger. To print your own, head over to the Ranger website and look under “circle punch labels“. I printed mine on label paper (which you can get HERE – love this for labels) and used a 3/4″ circle punch. This results in color labels that fit nicely on top of the caps. Yay!
(Note that I had some help from Colin with doing this punching. However, if you use the 3/4″ circle punch, the labels will fit perfectly. LOL.)
So glad this works so well! Hopefully it will give you some ideas for storing your paints and such. If you have any ideas that work for you, please share them in the comments below!
(Note: Please head HERE for more info on the Fridge Binz unit. There are two types available and it is worth checking out. By the way – it is possible to stack these.)

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson, click on EH. Some links go to Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and The Container Store. Enjoy!


3/4 Circle Punch (SSS|EH)


Distress Stains (SSS|EH)


Distress Paints (SSS|EH)



Updated Double Fridge Binz Container (BBB|CS)


Video: Ink Storage + Discount Code + Giveaway!

Hello! One of the questions I get most often is about ink storage. I finally have storage I am happy with… so it is time to share. And the good news? I have a discount code and giveaway for my favorite storage units!

Check out my video to see a closer look…

First, I am really over-the-moon happy with my storage units from OrganizeMore. They are high quality and responsibly priced compared to other ink storage units I have seen. (Keep reading… I have a discount code for OrganizeMore and a giveaway below. Please know they didn’t contact me – I found them after searching long and hard for the best storage option for me.)

The first unit I have is the 48 Ink Pad Organizer for my favorite colors of Hero Arts Shadow, My Favorite Things and (new) Mama Elephant Inks. This guy sits in a cabinet, but could also hang on the wall or sit on a shelf…

The second unit I have is the Mini Ink Pad Organizer. This holds 24 inks and I have it hanging on the inside of my cabinet door. (I used Command Picture Hanging Strips to hold it on the door – works like a charm – so strong!) My favorite Memento Luxe Inks live here, along with other frequently used inks such as Versamark, Memento Black, Archival Black, Unicorn White, etc.

Next is the one I am in love with the most – the 36 Distress Ink/Reinker Organizer. Eek! It makes me so happy! It is intended to stand upright or hang, but I have mine laying in a drawer. It is also intended to hold Distress Inks and reinkers, but I used those reinker spots to hold my Ink Blending Tools. (Yes, I am nuts to have a tool for each color – even Tim makes fun of me for it. But I use them A LOT and this helps me work better. But in the video, I make other suggestions on how to do this.)

The rest of my inks are in my Ikea Alex drawers. These units are incredible for crafters, are very inexpensive and hold a ton. I have a few built into my office and couldn’t live without them! They work for ink storage, too…

In the video, I also show a few plastic containers that are good for folks with less room and are more cost effective. I use these for my other-colors-I-like-but-don’t-use-as-often inks. These are from the same manufacturer of the stamp storage containers I love…

And finally, I use the Brother P-Touch Label Maker with the 1/4″ tape to label the sides of the inks. This is a durable label that won’t get icky and fall off. So fast and easy. (I will soon share a video showing how to set this label maker up so that it conserves label tape.) And let’s just say this – kids are really good at using this machine. ;)

A few things to note:

  • Yes – I do store some of my inks on their side. I have never had problems with doing this, and many companies say it doesn’t matter. Also, I rotate mine once in awhile just to be safe. Works for me and I have had them this way for some time now. If you want to be safe, go with one of the OrganizeMore storage units that store inks horizontally.
  • Note that these units do not hold ALL of the colors, but rather my most frequently used colors. This was key for me. Once I decided to use “prime real estate” in my craft room for just my favorite products and tuck the rest into a container elsewhere, I really became happy and more functional.
  • And yes – I do have a lot of inks. However, this is my job. Just like my hubby engineer needs lots of tools in his office to do his job, I need these inks. :)

DISCOUNT CODE

So I looked long and hard to find the perfect storage units and have been so very happy with the ones from OrganizeMore. So I got the courage to contact them and ask them if they wanted to give my readers and discount code… and they said yes! Use the code is “MCGUIREINK” for a 13% discount on your entire order (before shipping charges). Offer ends 10/17/13.

GIVEAWAY

And when I contacted OrganizeMore about the discount code, they offered a giveaway… a REALLY good giveaway! One lucky crafter will get the 48 Ink Pad Organizer like the one I use! Just leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 10/17/13 for your chance. Good luck!

Please visit OrganizeMore to see the other ink storage options they have. They have even bigger ones than I own!  They also have organizers for other products, such as punches and ribbons.

Hope one of these storage options works for you. Enjoy!

 

Handmade Card Storage

Hello!

Today I am sharing my storage system for completed cards. I get asked a lot about this… “What do you do with all your cards?” Honestly? I send most of them to loved ones. Therefore, I like to keep them organized so I can quickly find what I need.

And guess what? It works really well! Yay!

The Fridge Binz Storage Container that I use for cards is the same one I use for my clear and cling stamp storage and my die storage. I love this container – it is very durable and looks great. The cards fit sideways in here and it holds a lot. However, many CD storage container will work for this.

I divide the cards up into different occasions using Ellen Hutson Craft-a-Board (cut and corner rounded) and my favorite label maker. I keep this container in a drawer for easy access. (In the next drawer I have my envelopes, return address stamps and postal stamps. I will share this in the future. If you wanted to, you could keep the envelopes on one half of this container. It is a tighter fit but works – that is what I do.)

I give my kids a lot of cards. Kay (who is away at college) gets the most, so she has her own category. :) I also often like to stick cards in Colin’s lunch and on Audrey’s bed when she gets home from school. Sometimes I don’t have a card ready, so I LOVE LOVE LOVE to use the Pebbles Love You More Journaling Cards. These are *perfect* for fun little notes to kids. Just perfect. And better yet? They have a boy’s version and a girl’s version – both have lots of notes inside. (By the way, you can see these journaling cards stored in the front of my container in the first photo above. Works perfect.)

I hope this give you some ideas on how to organize (and therefore use!) your handmade cards. By they way, if you have more cards than you know what to do with, please consider sending them to Operation Write Home. It is an amazing organization!

By the way, you have seen me use the Fridge Binz Storage Container for many storage solutions. However, it appears the company has two slightly different containers with the same product name and number! The dimensions are the same on each, but one has a handle that sticks out the front and the other has a built-in handle. I have been using the one with the handle that sticks out the front (you can get it HERE and HERE), but think the built-in handle design (found HERE) is better as it has more usable space. Just something to keep in mind if you want to order. Here is a comparison of the two – just look closely at the front of the containers. (This shows my stamp storage solution using the Avery Elle Stamp Pockets.)

OK… off to bed. What a busy week! This back-to-school stuff is for the birds. Bring back summer! Who’s with me??