Friday, January 22, 2010

Challenge #4 - Organizing Basic Supplies, Tools and Adhesives

Organizing Basic Supplies,

Tools and Adhesives

Tools and adhesives are some of the most important items in scrapbooking. There are many things that you don’t necessarily need to create a page, but these are essential to each and every layout you do. So, how to store them so that they are always at your fingertips but not in the way?

First, decide what tools are the most essential to you, and also which adhesives you can’t live without. Think about the things that you reach for every single time you scrap. Those things need to be the closest to you, while the things you use occasionally are placed a bit further out of reach, and the items you use the least often are stored away or purged. Here are some ideas for each of those types of supplies:

Most often used:

· Use a Cropper Hopper Flat Pack. This will store your trimmer, scissors, pens, and adhesive and still have room for your most used embellishments. You can store this on your desk, and when it’s time to leave for a crop, just grab it and go! With a Flat Pack – you can easily carry all you need for crops and classes.

· Store in a basket on your desk. Whether one small basket or a silverware-type basket with dividers, this will keep your most-used items right in front of you.

· On a peg board or wall-mounted modular organizational system. There are so many hooks, cups, and holders available for these systems that all of your essentials can be stored within easy reach.

Occasional use:

· A peg board or wall system is also good for these items, keeping them accessible but out of the way.

· Eye-level drawer of your storage unit, whether it’s an Iris cart, a dresser, or your shelving unit. The closer the drawer or shelf is to eye level; the easier it will be to retrieve these items.

Rarely used:

· Store these items (extra trimmers, gadgets used infrequently, extra adhesives) up on your highest shelf or down below your desk or on your lowest shelf. These items should be stored in the most inconvenient place; so that they don’t get in the way of the things you use the most. Use a Cropper Hopper Supply Case to store these items.

o Consider purging some of these items. If you tried embossing but find it’s not your cup of tea, sell your heat gun. If you are hanging on to that adhesive you don’t really like just in case you run out of your favorite, give it to your friend, your child, or your local school and stock up on the supplies you’ll actually want to use. Now is the time to purge those supplies that are just taking up space. You’ll be glad you did!

Once you have a system in place for your essentials, putting them back in the same place every time will become a reflex, and you will never have to hunt for your favorite scissors again!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Organization Challenge #3 - Photos

Organizing Photos

Organizing photos can be a daunting task, especially when you have decades to sort through. This is probably one of the most time-consuming tasks, but it will also be one of the most rewarding. Set aside a significant chunk of time to handle this task. It really should be done start to finish in one session because if you take a long break, it’s tempting to just put those photos back in a box and tackle them, “some other time.” Clear your schedule on a weekend day, send the kids (and the pets) off with dad, and spread out. Consider asking a friend to come over and provide moral support. Put on some of your favorite music, make yourself snacks that you love, and then gather every single photo in your home and put it into one area. Make sure you find every single photo, even the ones that are hidden behind your framed photos throughout your home.

Before you begin, decide how you want to sort your photos. Ask yourself how will you look for them when you need them? How will you scrap them? What system will make them the easiest to retrieve? Some possibilities are:

· Chronologically – this may seem to be the most logical option, but if it doesn’t make sense for the way you scrapbook, find another option that works better for you.

· Holiday/Event/Vacations – do you create themed albums by holiday, birthday, vacation, etc? Consider sorting in a way that would make these photos easier to find.

· Person – if you have separate albums for each person in your family, it may be easier to have separate categories for each one.

· Periods of Life – this works particularly well for heritage photos, since the actual details may be difficult to determine. It may make scrapbooking these photos less intimidating if you have them broken down into times of life.

Sort, Purge and Assign

Depending on the amount of photos you have, you may be able to sort these on a dining room table, or you may need an entire room to really spread out. Make signs for your categories – i.e. for chronological, have a sign for every year, for vacations, create a sign that says, “Disney World,” and so on. If you’ve vacationed in the same spot through the years, you may want to make separate piles for each year you’ve gone.

Now is the time to decide if you want to put some of your favorite duplicates into a photo album for your coffee table, give away any photos, or if you see a small scrapbook in your mind based on photos you’ve gone through, set those aside for yourself in a clearly labeled category. Don’t worry about being neat at this point (although make sure your piles do not slide into each other), the neatness will come in the next stage.

Now is also the time to throw out any bad photos – blurry, dark, etc.

Once you’ve gone through the first sorting stage, it’s time to take each pile and decide if you need to further sort chronologically or if the photos make sense to you just as they are – this is completely up to you and your organizational style.


Now that you have your photos all sorted out, decide how you want them to be stored. Cropper Hopper photo cases and photo holders are an excellent option, cardboard photo boxes are another, or you can store the photos you plan to scrap the soonest in a container nearest your scrap area. Just make sure whatever system you use is clearly labeled for easy retrieval later. Larger photos can be stored in a 12 x 12 Expo, a Paper Holder, Cropper Hopper’s large photo case, or a file folder.

Negatives can be stored with your photos or in a negative binder. If you store your negatives away from your photos, be sure to include the index sheet or a written note with each set, so you know exactly what’s on each sleeve, and you don’t have to pull them out and touch them each time. You can also store negatives in Cropper Hopper 4 x 6 Photo/Negative holders so you have them handy to make reprints.


Make sure that your system is one that will make it easy to organize your future photos. Once you have it down, you should put your pictures away as soon as you have them in your hands, and they will be easy find when you are ready to use them. Customize your system so that it is picture perfect for you

Friday, January 8, 2010

Organization Challenge #2 - Paper

Organizing Papers

Before organizing, first decide how you want to organize your papers by asking yourself these questions:

· What categories make the most sense to you?

· How do you scrap?

· Do you tend to use several papers from the same manufacturer on one layout, or do you mix it up?

· Do you like to work with themed papers?

· Do you use a lot of vellum?

Close your eyes and visualize how you would have your paper arranged in your dream scrap room.

Here are some ideas for paper categories:

· Solids and Patterns by Color

· Solids by Color and Patterns by Color

· Theme

· Manufacturer

· Manufacturer Sets (i.e. SEI Serendipity, KI Memories My Guy, Basic Grey Jack)

There are many different ways to store your paper, but the most important factor is that the system works for you.

Here are some ideas that would work for both 12 x 12 and 8.5 x 11 papers:

· Vertical Paper Holders

· Hanging Vertical File Folders

· Wire Cubes

· Paper Trays

· Paper Envelopes or Paper Organizers

· Bookcases with adjustable shelves

· Shirt Shelving – Fixtures from Retail Stores

· Vertically held between bookends

Paper Organizing Tips:

· Because vellum tends to crinkle and rip, store more fragile papers together in their own category.

· Remember - do NOT be afraid to open paper packs and sort the paper into your collection. You are more likely to use it this way.

Be sure to evaluate your system after a few months, and make sure that it’s working for you. The most important factor in a maintainable system is that it works for you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sign up now for Saturday classes

We heard you . . . and we've put together some great classes for Saturday, January 9th @ 1 pm . . . Classes will be held in Joyce's (Mom's) studio. Please register in advance so we have enough kits packed.

Thirty Minute Layouts
1 pm

I Believe: In Christmas Carols
1 pm

Wonder Years
1 pm

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Let's Get 2010 Started . . .

Happy New Year!! Are you taking part in our 5th Annual Organization Challenge? I know I need to get my craft space organized. Here are my before photos . . .

. . . and after I completed the first challenge. I'm looking at the sewing machine on my table and thinking I really should get Hal to give it a good going-over and clean-up. Hey Hal . . .
Do you love this pattern? I found it online and started it January 2005. It is a Vintage pattern:

Queen Anne's Lace
Home Decoration Book 76
The Spool Cotton Company

It has been taken out and packed away sooooooo many times, but I plan to finish it in 2010. I guess that is my first New Year's resolution.

See ya

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get Organized Challenge -- Week One

“Cluttered surroundings create a chaotic environment, an extra level of static in our brains that can only hinder our creativity and enjoyment of what we are doing”

Over the course of the next 10 weeks we are going to Get Organized. This plan is designed for scrapbooking but I know it will work well, with minor adjustments, for whatever craft you love.

Week 1

Take a photo of your work space right now. Don’t tidy it up or remove that empty chocolate bar wrapper. Leave that coffee cup ring exactly where it is. What does your work space look like at this exact minute in time? Now post that photo to I will be rewarding the Messiest Scrapper Award – a copy of the “Get Organized” Challenge cd from Cropper Hopper—to the person with the absolutely messiest space.

We need to start the year off right with a clean slate . . . or in this case a clean workspace. Clear you work space completely. What to do with everything on your desk or table? Set up some boxes or baskets: one for things that don’t have a place yet, one for yard sale, one for donations. Put everything away if it already has a home or into one of these 3 boxes. Now scrub! Clean every blob of glue and scrap of paper off your work space. Look at that shine!! Take another photo and share it with us at

That’s it for this week. You are now ready to join in the 6th Annual New Year’s Day Online Crop at