Organizing my Embellishments

Recently someone asked me how I store my embellishments, adhesive backed rhinestones/pearls and my ribbon.  So, I thought I would share it with all of you.  There are so many ways of storing and organizing your craft room, I think I will start a series on it.  Considering I am moving my craft room downstairs and so I’ll be updating my craftroom, this will be information I have already gathered. 

Stampin’ Up! Had an embellishment holder called the Stack N Store.  However, it was retired before I purchased it.  Since it no longer is available, I needed to come up with a new plan to store my embellishments.  My craft room is currently a mess and it not picture worthy, so I’ve added stock pictures.  Once my craft room is done, I’ll be updating these pictures. 

I love the circle containers Stampin’ Up!’s embellishments come in.  They are so cute and are a perfect size; but without a specifically made caddy, I take then out of the containers and use the Elizabeth Ward Bead Storage System.  It can be found on Amazon.  The prices fluctuate drastically, so watch out for a good price.  I ordered mine for under $18.00, but currently they are up to $22.00 – ouch.  I need another one, but will wait to see if I can get it for the price I paid for it before Covid hit. 

For my adhesive back rhinestones, pearls and dots, I use the Deflecto Caddy System.  Not only does this system allow me to have several different bins with lids mounted to my wall, and therefore in arms reach, it also allows me to take them down very easily, add them to my caddy and then take on the go.  This system is very under rated.  they have tons of different styles including those for makers and ribbon.  I love my Deflecto system.  I’ve given you the Amazon address, but you can e-mail me directly for other items.  I have an “in” with someone that might be able to get these to you at a good price and/or can get you the full line or products.   

For my ribbon storage, I was at the right place at the right time and was able to snag my ribbon container system directly from a scrapbooking store that was going out of business.  They displayed their ribbon by the yard in acrylic bins that hang on the wall.  As soon as I get them up in my craft room, I’ll give you some pictures.  However, I would suggest using gutters.  Yes, I said gutters.  They are rather inexpensive and can be decorated to be beautiful.  If you only have a few spools of ribbon, there are many other options out there on the market. 

For my washi tape, that I have way too much of since I don’t use it, I had a storage system I bought at Michaels.  I forcefully removed the drawers and added the cupped “shelves” to my desk drawers so I would also have them close at hand. This item is no longer available.

I like everything I use immediately around me.  That is why I am planning to have a U-shaped desk in my new craft room.  Currently I have several drawer units behind me and my back (chair) is about 4 feet from the wall.  I have a U-shaped set-up, but nothing pretty at the moment, because my space is so small. 

What to do When your card is Uninspiring.

I was so excited to see Life is Beautiful in the Mini August-December catalog. I love tree siliouettes. And this was was so large. Perfect for my A7 cards and so different from the smaller ones that have retired.

I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to have fall colored – multi colored leaves. I tried Garden Green with Crushed Curry and Pumpkin Pie. I liked the look, but remembered that BumbleBee was an in-color and I had not used it in a while. So when I added BumbleBee into the mix, I also changed to Cajun Craze and Cherry Cobbler. I also used Cinnamon Cider, to bring in some brown, and again, I have not used it very often, if ever. The ink pads were not available to the demonstrators prior to customers this time. I’m sure it has something to do with Covid – everything seems to these days.

Finger daubers where going to be the only way to get the many colors on the leaves. Thank goodness I always have enough for every color I have. I hate having to label my supplies and i’m creating – mainly because I don’t do it and then the next time I need it I don’t label it again and I end up having 2 or 3 daubers that are used with no label on them. I found 2 daubers that had Cajun Craze labeled on them – considering I only used that color for fall, I guess I forgot I had a dauber already for CC and used another one – I really need to go through them and put them in rainbow order and make sure I have only 1 for each color . . . tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow . . .

I used Early Expresso for the tree, I thought about using Soft Suede, but I always like the look of the winter tree against the sunset so I always picture winter trees as dark in color. I love the fall colors and I think I captured it in this card. Too bad my first attempt was an ugly card.

I watch Laura Fedora on YouTube, she always is so funny on the voice overs. She is fond of paper stripping, so I thought I’d give it a try. Well its messier than I thought it would be. I really didn’t think about the fact that Very Vanilla is thinner than the colored cardstock and that posed a real problem. Not to mention the glue. Tombo Mono stays sticky which is great for this project, but it then gets on your fingers and wow, does it make a mess. I think next time I’ll use a dot runner. I liked the colors I chose, I think they look great together. I also like the diagonal direction rather than the straight. Straight is hard to accomplish and a bit out of alignment really shows. I found a bone folder really helped me straighten out the area which was pushed in when I pushed 1 strip into the other with my fingernail. I hope that stripping is easier with practice. Most everything is, so there is that.

I have never used a card sketch before. I wonder if I’m the only one out there. I had to “make up” the measurements as I went because of the whole A7 size thing. Sometimes I wonder if its worth it, then I look at the size of an A2 card next to a store bought card and realize it is. I was really surprised how many card sketches there were out there. Man, I must not use Pinterest enough.

Wateroloring with Stampin’ Up! reinkers

One of my very favorite things to do is watercoloring with reinkers. I’m not very good at watercoloring, but anyone can make a rainbow! The reinkers allow the watercolors to be very vibrant or you can add more water to make the rainbow pastel. Reinkers are very inexpensive at only $3.75 per reinker and they last almost forever.

I love the look of the drips on this panel and the butterflies that look as though they have taken on the color they are sitting on and are about to fly away at any moment.

This card is a slimline and one of my first attempts at a slimline card. I know they are getting very popular but without tools to help you create slim line cards I’m not sure how long they will be popular.

The pink X-acto mat that I used in my video to tape down my watercolor paper to, belonged to my very good friend Anna. We lost Anna several months ago. I was very lucky to be given an item from her craft room to help me remember her by. She used this mat to craft on everyday. I was about to put it in a drawer where I could “keep it safe” to remember my friend by. But instead I brought it out and used it. It made it seem like I was crafting with Anna again. I miss her dearly.

Do you have something that reminds you of a loved one that is no longer with us? What do you do with the “token?”

Crafting with Anna and my very good friend Rita when I lived in Phoenix are some of my happiest memories after I was diagnosed with CRPS. Crafting with friends is the best way to craft. I have a hard time crafting alone. I wanna chit-chat and ask “what do you think about this” and “ohh lets see what Pinterest shows for this stamp set.” Do you prefer to craft alone or with a group of girls. Covid has really put a damper on crafting with friends lately. I hope we can get back to normal soon. I hope all of you are well and staying busy during this time.

Organizing Stampin’ Up! Products

I made my first video on YouTube about how to organize your Stampin’ Up! products. I think it goes as in-depth as possible for that length of video and for the products listed. I hope you watch the video and let me know what you think

Also, I’m excited to tell all of you that I’m moving my craft room downstairs so that my grand-daughters can have their own bedroom here as they spend Wednesday night and Thursdays with us.

I’m excited to show you from start to finish how my husband makes over an area in the basement so that I can create the ultimate craft room for me. I can’t wait – but I have to, because my son’s room is being relocated downstairs as well, and the truth is he is more important than my perfect craft room. I’m going to be setting a budget and choosing colors and designing my room on paper. I’m hoping to share everything with you.

Love of Leaves – Card B

I had no idea when I made the two cards from the Love of Leaves bundle that I would need to videos, and two blog posts. I hate having to read long winded posts, and I wouldn’t make you read them either. I also like short videos so I can watch all of them and not skip around. That is why I chopped these two cards into separate posts. Below are the measurements and links to the items I used. I hope you are able to make a few cards. This is a perfect sympathy card. Not too bling-y, but not too boring. This die set lends pefectly for negative die cutting as the leaves have pretty stitching details on the outer edge. The leaves also have detailed stitching for the veining of the leaves. They are absolutely stunning in real life.

Very Vanilla cardstock card base: 10×7 scored and folded at 5″

Very Vanilla front panel: 5×7

Gilded Autumn DSP: 3/4×7

Mint Macaroon cardstock cut at 2 1/2×7

The sentiment: “hope changes everything” inked in Early Espresso

Early Espresso ribbon for the bow

Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Cinnamon Cider, BumbleBee, Cherry Cobble to ink blend behind the negative die cuts of the leaves. This panel should be cut not smaller than 7×3 1/2 or 7×5 if you have the paper.

Fun Foam with double sided adhesive or Stampin’ Up!’s Foam Adhesive Sheets cut at 5×7

. . . . . . .

I’m not sure if I want to talk about me personally? But who knows, maybe no one will read this blog and it will become a journal, or maybe a lot of people will read it and it will help them know they are not alone. I’d love to hear from you whether you like to hear personal things or not in a blog.

I guess I’ll just start, and see where it leaves me then. I have CRPS in my pelvic floor, I was diagnosed with it in 2014. CRPS is usually located in appendages, arms and legs, hardly ever in the truck. Since I have it in pelvic floor I’m one in like 10 people who have it there. Lucky me – I’m special like that.

I am waiting for my doctor’s office in Phoenix to schedule me for a procedure that really helps me with my pain. I spoke to my doctor on September 14, and he said he’d have his schedule up and running to start procedures/surgeries beginning in October. He had taken some time off – for about 3 months – and the reason seems to be the Covid 19. This really sucks for me, for a lack of a better word. I have procedures every 6 weeks with him and I have not had a procedure since late June. No one in Michigan does exactly what he does. He is the best in the country and people from all over the country come to see him.

I have been leaving messages for his surgery scheduler and I cannot get her to call me back. I’ve tried leaving pleasant messages, irritated messages, business-like messages, and still no one calls me back. They have a centralized appointment scheduler so it is not like I can get in touch with that office very easily! I’m not sure what else to do. The hospital that he works for supplies his office workers so he does not have to “worry” about that and can concentrate on fixing women. Its not like I want to go anywhere else either, he is the best!

I moved to Michigan to be closer to my husband’s family. They help out a lot since we need help with my disability. But the fact that there are no doctors to help me here has put a cloud over my time here. We were unable to fly me back to visit my specialist for about a year after the first year we were here. Then, my husband’s business started picking up and I was able to get to Phoenix to get some relief in October of last year then about every 6 weeks after that until Covid hit. Since March I’ve only been twice to see him. My pain is almost out of control, and I’m looking forward to getting some relief. It’s funny, after the procedure stops working, which happens anywhere from 2 weeks after the procedure to 6 weeks after, my pain seems so bad, I can’t believe I was able to function with it before my surgery. In a perfect world, I’d have the procedure every 4-5 weeks. They put my in “twilight” to administer the many nerve blocks, and the pain gets worst for about 24 hours and then my pain goes from a 8-10 to a 5-6. PEACE – REST, my body is so happy for the Relief it makes me feel 25 again.

The best relief and longest lasting is Botox injections into my pelvic floor in addition to nerve blocks, but the FDA has not approved that procedure and my insurance for the last 5 years has not paid for that. But Botox injections last for 6 full months. I hope soon we can pay for that procedure out of pocket. I think with the airfare and everything it would cost me about 35% more, but the pain relief is awesome.

Wow – I feel better to be able to vent. I guess that is the point of some blogs. Thanks!

Love of Leaves – Card A

Well Good Day! I hope you are well and having a perfectly perfect day. I am writing this the afternoon after I posted videos for Stampin’ Up!’s Love of Leaves stamp set. I was up until 3am trying to post both of them, and so I didn’t wake up until after 12pm. I hate sleeping that late – that long. I feel so tired and out of it. Does that happen to you? Sleep too long that you wake up groggy and your head feels funny?

I would have recorded my videos the day before, but I had the most “wrong day” every. My Monday started out at 4am when I suddenly woke up and realized that I threw away my paper prescriptions. Unfortunately I take pain medication that is monitored by EVERYONE and so a missing script is not something that is “allowed.” I had to go through the garbage to get them out of the bag that my daughter asked me the week before if I needed. I was in the middle of something and just said “nope.” It was completely my fault. Let me tell you, That was a pleasant experience!!!! (high sarcasm – you’ll get that a lot from me )

Then as I was trying to craft to come up with a card to make, I lost the key die in the Love of Leaves stamp set that I wanted to use. I took over an hour to straighten up my area – I’m a really messy crafter – picked up the floor and organized other areas of my craft room while I was at it, and finally found it. It had slipped under my Ott lamp base – which is located less than 2 feet in front of me. I must have slid my lamp base and the die was caught under it. Grrrr!

Since I was already aggravated about the missing die, I decided to start on my Christmas card ideas. I was really into it and was making great progress, until I misplaced another die. A teeny tiny one, about the size of a nickel. My area was already cleaned up by this time, there was nothing to move around and still I could not find it. I looked everywhere 3 times and after a ridiculous amount of time, I decided I was not meant to craft that day and got up to leave my area. That’s when I noticed that my slipper felt a little odd. Yep, the die was stuck to the bottom of my slipper! If you are shaking your head right now and laughing . . . IT WASN’T FUNNY!!! I was so baffled at how I could be so “clumsy” with my tools. I was shaking my head all the way to bed – I went to bed at 8pm Obviously I was a danger to everything I needed and it was best to take myself away from it all.

A Card that could be for a Birthday to Get Well Soon or Sympathy

I make this video “on the fly” which means that I really didn’t know what I was going to use to make this card until that very minute. I make this a process video to show my audience how I choose my colors, etc. I knew I wanted my leaves multicolored and always use this same combo: Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze. I added in BumbleeBee and Cinnamon Cider since those are new in-colors that went great with this fall card. After inking up my stamp in the lightest color, used ink daubers to add my other colors. I made sure I used my 3rd color ink daubers to go over the 2nd color’s edges – this allows everything to blend nicely. My video will show this better, if this is not clear.

I stamped these leaves on a sheet of Very Vanilla cardstock measuring 4 3/4 by 5 3/4 to allow a colored mat around the edges. I mounted this panel on a card base of Early Espresso cardstock measuring 10×7 and scored and folded in half at the 5″ mark. To give my panel something “extra,” I added some splatter with Early Espresso ink that I stamped on an acrylic block, added water to it with our misters, and used the perfect size paintbrush to drip over my panel. I have tried several different sizes of paintbrushes and now know which one makes the best size splatter. I suggest you spend some time finding the right size for you. If not, you’ll end up hating your card all because of ugly splatter.

I used a large circle die (framelit) of Cajun Craze cardstock. This circle die is an older Sizzix die and measures approximately 3 3/4. It came in a pack of 7 or 8 dies and there are 2 sets that complement each other. I embossed this circle with the Subtle Embossing folder – my favorite. It adds the perfect amount of texture, without distracting and “taking away” from the overal design. I used the Hippo & Friends label die for the sentiment “I thought of you today” and added some sparkle with 2 different sizes of our basic rhinestones. next I ink bended the several different die shapes of the leaves and chose one to add to the sentiment. I added a small linen thread bow and I was done with the front.

For the inside, I decided to leave the sentiment area blank for now, as I don’t need this card today, but I did add another stamped leaf on the lower right hand side. I love adding small touches to the inside of the card and feel as though it is not finished without a proper inside.

This card can be easily made in multiples. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but this is our hobby, who wants to make only simple, quick cards? Thanks for spending some time with me today. I appreciate you and every comment you share. Thanks Again! Amanda

Getting Started

This is not my first blog. This is actually my 3rd. This is also my 3rd blog post – which is kind of funny – if you think about it. After I wrote my first post, they went no further. I wanted to keep up with them, but truly life got in the way. What is different now? Well, I’m paying for this one; that may be a reason to keep up with it. I also have been posting videos regularly and so I have been crafting regularly. So I should have something to blog about. I don’t really want to blog about me personally, my pain disorder makes me a pretty pessimistic person – and who wants to read that I have pain all day, every day?

So now that I have started crafting just about every day, I have something to write about. I also have pictures to show and this can be a way for me to give more information than I give on my videos. So I hope this is the start of something new, and not a dead end like before (there’s the pessimism).