Getting Organized

I love my studio … it’s in the living room, so I can watch tv or chat with my husband while I work. And, I have two huge windows for plenty of natural light.

But, those big windows also mean I have virtually no wall space to hang anything.

I do have lots of table surfaces, but they are always piled with stuff and I am always having to move things around to work.

I’m not complaining … I love my studio. But I’m sure people think I am a slob when they come in the door and see my stuff everywhere … It’s hard to explain to non-artistic types that I must work in a mess because 1. I always have more than one project going at a time; 2. I am always adding to my collection; 3. I need to be able to see my stuff in order to be creative; and 4. even if I had a 6,000-square-foot room for a studio, it would probably not be enough room. It is the nature of crafting.

Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for ways to find more space in my tiny house. So, when I saw a little shelf unit at Green Door Studio in Brighton, I knew I needed it. I neglected to take a before pic, but it was glossy black. It looked fine, but I didn’t want something that dark, so I painted it.

mason_jar_shelf_candy_spiegel2My friend, Linda Neff, who owns the Green Door Studio, is always trying to get me to paint furniture. She says it is relaxing and calming. I found it particularly frustrating and tedious. I have decided that any additional projects I need painted are going to her. Four coats of paint and a coat of sealant later, I filled it with my collection of antique mason jars, which hold ribbons, twine, flowers, washi tape, buttons and other bits and pieces I need when I create.

Ignoring the damage on the walls (from the much smaller shelf that was removed), I think my space turned out pretty great.

mason_jar_shelf_candy_spiegel

I also realized, after putting everything in one place, that I do not need anymore buttons … despite the fact that I was shopping for them last night! I cannot help myself … I love buttons.

 

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Favorite Organization

Candy jarsIt’s Favorite Things Friday at Scrap It Girl today.

This time, we were asked to share our favorite type of craft organization.

For me, it is all about the jars …  I will admit to being a bit obsessed with jars. I love all sorts … apothecary jars, antique medicine jars, wine bottles, decorative jars, mason jars … you name it, I love it. So I guess it is no surprise to anyone that I store lots of things in jars.

I like to keep everything out in the open … I think it’s pretty. It’s easy to grab. And I don’t forget I own it when I can see it. So, right next to my desk is my collection of antique mason jars (and a few modern ones because my collection is still in the “being collected” stage).

I use my jars to hold flowers, ribbons, twine, paper straws, washi tape, metal washers and paint. I have smaller jars that hold brads, tiny flowers, buttons and other embellishments.

What is your favorite storage option in the craft room? Stop by Scrap It Girl to get some other ideas and then share your own!

Simply Stickers

When I was a child, I had a sticker collection. I kept them in one of those spiral-bound, magnetic photo albums and loved the opportunity to trade and add to my collection. It was all the rage in the early 80s and even though times changed and I outgrew my collection, I never seemed to outgrow stickers. In fact, they were one of the things that drew me to scrapbooking in the first place.

These days, my friends rarely use stickers in their scrapbooks. They prefer die cuts or flowers or buttons or just about anything except stickers. I understand where they are coming from. In the early 90s we all sprinkled our pages with tiny Mrs. Grossman’s stickers — a look one of my friends refers to as a sticker sneeze. Like a sneeze where tiny droplets go everywhere, we covered our pages with tiny cartoon butterflies in colors nature never intended. It’s a look that is not only out of style, but never had any basis in art whatsoever. There was no place to rest your eye; no focal point; no triangle — just an odd mix of photos and tiny stickers.

So, I understand why many of my friends cringe at the word sticker.

But, given the right style, the right attention and the right design, stickers can still participate in amazing scrapbook pages.

 

On this page, I used stickers for the title, as a journaling block, and as accents. They, along with the plaid and denim papers, are all made by Simple Stories and are part of their Summer Fresh line. I love this line and have used it on many projects and pages so far. It reminds me of days gone by when life was slower and simpler. And I love the color palate — yellow, red, denim, blue and green.

 

Here, I used a sticker border on the edge of the denim paper for a unique look. I love that they match perfectly — something not all companies can achieve. I also added a few word stickers to fill in a blank space.

Here’s another look at the border … the scallop is the sticker, the plain denim is paper. Simple Stories includes several fonts on their letter sticker sheet. I used two of them for the title.

The flowers and jars are also stickers.

 

And, since I like to alter everything, I used my Cricut to create labels for the jars after my husband made the pickles. Here’s a better photo:

 

I used the Preserves cartridge to make the labels both for the lids and the jars. The word pickles uses the Opposite Attracts font and I used my Gypsy to weld the letters together into a word. I used my Xyron to turn the words into stickers and adhered them to the labels.

Finding an adhesive that would stick to the jars was challenging, since they are not smooth. However, Glue Lines by Glue Dots seemed to do the job just fine.