Friday, January 29, 2016

Craft Space Get Organized Challenge #5

Organizing your stickers, die cuts and rub-ons is the challenge for Week 5

Stickers, diecuts, and rub-ons are some of the hardest things to organize because the different sizes and shapes pose many challenges. Rub-ons present their own challenges because if they aren't stored properly, they stick to each other, damaging precious supplies.

SORT: time to be ruthless. Consider if you are really going to use these items. If you bought a whole sheet of die cut just to use one or two tags, why are you hanging on to the whole sheet? Those stickers you bought in 1999 were adorable then, but definitely not your style now, are they? So, sort into piles: TRASH, SELL, DONATE, TO KEEP

PURGE: Throw out the TRASH pile. Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile and put them directly into the garage sale box. Make immediate arrangements to rid yourself of the DONATE items.

ASSIGN: The KEEP items need to be divided into categories that make sense to you: by colour, by manufacturer, theme, size, or type.

CONTAINERIZE: Here is an article about storing stickers, diecuts and rub-ons:

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrap session, and whenever you return from a crop or a shopping trip to put your stickers, rub-ons and diecuts where they belong.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Christmas Candles

Christmas Candles

4" x 4"


Piecings may not be exactly as shown.  Each is individually made.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chimney Santa

Chimney Santa

4" x 8"



Piecings may not be exactly as shown.  Each is individually made.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Craft Space Get Organized Challenge #4

It's Week 4 of the Get Organized Challenge . . . Tools & Adhesives

Gather together all of your tools and adhesives into the Big Box, and let's start them!

: one by one, put each item into piles: FAVOURITES, TRASH, TO SELL, STORE, DONATE.

: For the SELL pile: bag up and assign a price and your initials to tools/adhesives that you don't love/use anymore and put them in your garage sale box. Throw out the TRASH pile. Arrange pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

: Store your most used items in a basket or box or other system right on your desk, within easy reach. Divide the STORE items into categories that make sense to you: cutting tools, pens, punches, templates, etc. 

: This is the time to tidy up your tools. Tools need regular maintenance to keep them efficiently working. As you put your tools away in whatever container (drawers, shelves, boxes, baskets - always ensuring the container is clearly labelled) give them a little maintenance.

scissors - sharpen your scissors using a small scissor sharpener, or have them professionally done. Carefully clean the blades (I like alcohol swabs to remove sticky adhesive)

pens - test pens and throw out the ones that are dry or don't work well.

craft knives - change the blades

trimmers - clean the deck of your trimmers with a damp cloth, and a little cleanser if necessary. Replace dull blades, or cut through fine sandpaper or aluminium foil.

work surface - clean ink, adhesive and paint from the mat.

punches - to prevent punches from sticking, punch through wax paper. Problem punches may need a little lubricating oil such as sewing machine oil, then punch through scrap paper several times to remove oily residue. Dull punches can be sharpened by punching through aluminium foil or fine grade sandpaper (both right side up and upside down)

rubber stamps - stamps should be cleaned after each use, but if there is a build up of ink on your stamps, you should clean them with an alcohol free baby wipe, or paper towels moistened with a mild cleanser (ammonia free/bleach free) Use a soft toothbrush to remove ink stuck in the crevices of a design. Store stamps flat, rubber side down.

: Once you have a system in place for you tools, putting them back in the same place every time will become a reflex, and you will never have to hunt for you scissors again! Take a couple of minutes at the end of each scrap session to put your tools away.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Craft Space Get Organized Challenge #3

Week 3: Organize your photos . . .

So, your paper is beautifully organized, your scraps carefully stashed or purged, and your desk is gleaming! Doesn't it make you feel creative? Don't you want to get cropping? Well, you CAN'T scrapbook without PHOTOS!

Our third challenge is to organize our photos. Here are a few articles to get you thinking about how to organize those precious photos before we S.P.A.C.E. them: (this is an excellent article)

Another great article, especially when dealing with old photos . . .

SORT: Gather together all of your photos, and sort them into categories that make sense: TRASH (it's okay to throw out photos with bad colour, expression, composition. Why keep them? You're not going to scrapbook them) TO SCRAPBOOK (the shots you know you are going to use) TO STORE (photos that need to be kept, but aren't necessarily going to be going into your scrapbooks) TO GIVE AWAY (doubles that you want to send to friends and family)

PURGE: Throw out the TRASH pile. Put the TO GIVE AWAY photos in envelopes and mail them to friends/family, or put them in your car so you can drop them off the next time you visit. Do not leave them in your studio, or they will creep back into your organized space.

ASSIGN: Sort the final two groups of photos into a system that makes sense to you:

CONTAINERIZE: Now it's time to decide how you want to store your photos. Perhaps you want to put your TO STORE photos in acid free envelopes or albums. Perhaps you want to put your TO SCRAPBOOK photos into photo storage boxes, or accordion folders.

EQUALIZE: Next time you get new photos from the photo processor, spend a couple of minutes and put the photos where they belong: throw out the bad shots, give away the extras, put the keepers away in their storage, and sort your photos for scrapbooking into their container.

Please take a moment and read this exerpt from Design Strategies for Scrapbookers:

Photo preservation begins with safe storage.  Remove photos stored in the old magnetic albums immediately.  A magnetic album has cardboard pages with adhesive on them and a plastic sheet to cover the photos.  The adhesives and plastics in these albums are highly acidic and can ruin your photos very quickly.

To safely remove photos from magnetic albums you can use:

1.      Dental floss – Slip a piece of dental floss under one corner of the photo and use a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion to lift the photo.
2.      Blow Dryer – Set your blow dryer on low heat to soften the page’s glue and then carefully lift the photo.
3.      Spatula/pan scraper – Use a thin spatula to slowly pry photos loose. 
4.      Undu Adhesive Remover – Undu neutralizes adhesive’s stickiness, making photos easy to remove.  It dries clear and will not damage photos or smudge most inks.
5.      I have heard about freezing the pages first  but I’ve never tried it so use at your own risk.

Use an acid-free photo box with dividers or an archival quality photo album for storage.  Organize photos chronologically or by theme, event or subject depending on how you scrapbook.  Write notes on the dividers or on the back of the photo for later reference.  Don’t use ballpoint pen to write on backs of photos.  Buy a special photo-marking pen or pencil. 

Always save original photos if they are one of a kind and can’t be replaced.  This is especially important with heritage photos.  Instead, scan and print new copies, storing the original for safe-keeping.  If you are determined to use the original, use photo corners to adhere these precious photos to your layouts so they can be safely removed.

I just had a reminder of this rule recently.  I’ve been working on a family tree album and needed some baby pictures.  I scrapbooked all my baby pictures when I first started scrapbooking many years ago.  And that was the problem.  I had cut them all in shapes and used decorative scissors on them.  Not one was complete enough for me to scan and reprint.  My mom and aunt are going through their old photos in hopes they have some originals.  So I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to save original photos.  Scan the originals and have them reprinted. 

Don’t forget to properly store and organize negatives.  Plastic negative sleeves will old 4-7 negatives, depending on brand and the size of film.  If you have older negatives in smaller sizes (such as 110) you can easily create subdivisions in the sleeves with a sewing machine and clear nylon thread.  You can store negative sleeves in a 3-ring binder or folder.  Label each sleeve with the date and/or subject.

Digital photos have their own set of rules.  Always back up your computer files, including your digital photo files because computers crash and hard drives fail.  Store a back up copy of your photos and important documents to an external hard drive.  You can also download your digital photos to CD’s or USB drives although there is some debate as to how long they last.  There are many online sites that you can save your photos to as well.

When you are looking for a safe place to store your memorabilia, photographs, negatives, supplies and albums, keep in mind that they will do best in a dry, cool place, out of direct sunlight.

 Design Strategies for Scrapbookers - black & white edition
Available in colour, black & white or large print

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Child in Snowsuit with Broom

Child in Snowsuit with Broom

4" x 5"



May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually made.

Celestial Santa

Celestial Santa
6" x 6"


Piecings may not be exactly as shown.  Each one is individually made.

Bee with Merry Christmas

Bee with Merry Christmas

3.25" x 4.5"



May not be exactly as shown because each piecing is individually made.

The Great Pintrest Challenge . . . Apple Chips

Anyone see the video on how to make Apple Chips on Facebook or other social media platforms?  I saw it on Facebook.  Don't they look yummy?


Here's the link:

Anyway, I had some apples that were starting to get soft so I thought this might be a good idea.  I watched the video and scribbled down the instructions.  (I found out later that there was a link to the recipe . . . sigh.)

I used my brand new Epicure mandolin to cut the apples and I mixed the spices.  I laid out the slices on cookie sheets just like the recipe required.  I baked them in the oven for 1-1/2 hours.

And then I pulled the pan out of the oven to flip the chips.  Yeah, apparently I was so busy scribbling down the recipe that I failed to note the parchment paper.

The ones I managed to get off the sheet were quite tasty.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get the apples off the sheet.  Hubby says I should just throw them out . . . LOL.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Craft Space Get Organized Challenge #2

How did you make out with last week's challenge? Did you find your work table?  Quite a few people sent me photos over Facebook and email.  Thanks so much!  I'm glad you are all enjoying playing along.

Here's this week's challenge:

Week #2 Challenge: Paper . . . and I mean ALL of your paper.

Your challenge this week is to S.P.A.C.E. your paper - - and I mean ALL of your paper: cardstock, patterned paper, specialty papers, and all those SCRAPS!

Step 1
SORT: Bring all of your paper to one area. Sort it all into piles: KEEP, SELL, DONATE, TRASH.

Step 2
PURGE: bag up, and assign a price to paper bundles that you want to SELL at a garage sale or online, and put the bags in the garage sale box. Throw out the TRASH pile. Bag up the DONATE pile and immediately make arrangements for drop-off/pick-up or put in your vehicle.

Step 3
ASSIGN: separate your paper into categories that make sense to you. For example, you may want to divide it simply into cardstock and patterned paper. If you have a huge stash of paper, you may want to divide it by colour, theme, or manufacturer.

Another way to sort your paper is in page kits. Package matching patterned papers in a zip lock bag, and add matching cardstocks and embellishments to create kits.

I pack in page kits and store them in bankers boxes right under my work space.

Example of a page kit

Step 4
CONTAINERIZE: store you paper in a way that makes sense to you:
- vertical paper holders
- hanging vertical file folders
- wire cubes
- paper trays
- paper organizers
- bookcases with adjustable shelves
Click here to see lots of different storage ideas.

I store my extra cardstock in vertical holders and my cardstock scraps are stored in a hanging file folder.

Step 5
EQUALIZE: each time you finish a scrap session, return from a crop, or bring home new papers, spend a few minutes putting your paper away where it belongs.  I think this is the most important step.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you decide to store all your paper.  Send me a photo.  Even better, post a link to your photo in the comment section here.

Good luck.

Note:  for the non-scrapbookers in the group, I would think this week is about sorting stationery or whatever paper products you may use for your crafts.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Balsamic Strawberries

Balsamic Strawberries

2 servings
Preparation 5 min 
Standing 15 min
60 calories per serving 


2 cupsstrawberries300 g
2 tbspred wine 30 mL
1/2 tspbalsamic vinegar 2.5 mL


  1. Hull the strawberries and halve them lengthwise. Gently toss them in a bowl with the wine and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Allow to stand 15 min. Portion out into serving bowls or cups then serve.

Steamed Brown Rice

Steamed Brown Rice

2 servings
Cooking 35 min
150 calories per serving 


1/2 cupbrown rice 80 g
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
1 cupwater 250 mL


  1. Rinse the rice and drain it.
  2. Pour the specified amount of water into a saucepan, cover, then bring to a boil. Add the rice and salt. Cover and cook over very low heat about 35 min without uncovering.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. The water should be completely absorbed. Should it not be, cover and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve.