Thursday, October 15, 2009

Craft Room, Part 2

Since I can't possibly follow yesterday's delicious CASness with anything close to that perfect, today we're looking at my work area. This way, when you see my Ode to Holly card, you won't think, "Awwww, poor thing! She's really lost her touch." Instead, you will think, "Thank god she's posting a card!"

I'm a strategic blogger that way.

As you might suspect, I have a lot of ink, all of which is stored in Sterilite drawers in two towers on either side of my very large plastic folding table. Here's the left tower.

I store my frequently used supplies (glues and tapes, scrap paper, cut card bases, post-its and masks) here. The bottom drawer is a place to put projects when I get stuck. I put them away and will go back to them later and either throw them away, recycle them, or finish them.

Memories and Ancient Page inks are stored in the middle three drawers. These inks are sort of weird but I bought a bunch of them very early in my stamping career, before I knew better, and virtually all of them are still juicy seven years later, so I can't complain. They are archival, waterproof dye inks, which makes them perfect for stamping on scrapbook pages. But I CANNOT watercolor with them...the whole waterproof thing gets in the way for me. They also don't work with clear stamps very well.

The right tower is totally dedicated to inks. Stacked on top are Colorbox pigment inks (barely visible). The next three drawers are VersaColor, VersaMagic, Brilliance, and Colorbox chalk inks. These are all great inks for stamping with clear stamps, and all but the Colorbox chalk inks are archival and thus safe for scrapping. I have a lot of these in small pads (dew drops, cubes, cat eyes) which are great for rocking and rolling.

The next five drawers down are StampinUp inks. I have most of the 48 colors, some neutrals and in colors, and a pad of craft white. SU classic ink isn't archival or waterproof, but it is great for watercoloring and coordinating with the SU paper. The bottom drawer holds black and chocolate inks (Palette, StazOn, VersaColor, Memento), spectrum pads, and odd-ball inks that don't belong anyplace else.

I counted once. I have close to three hundred pads, large and small. I'm not going to think about that fact. Ever.

The rest of my workspace looks like this:

The shelf has my ribbon jars (which lately haven't seen much use but will come around again, I assure you). I don't wrap my ribbon around clothespins or anything. I just wrap it neatly around my fingers and shove it in. It's never tangled (I do clean them out a couple times a year), I can see what I have at a glance, and it looks so pretty, doesn't it?

The two photo boxes behind the ribbon hold narrow satin rolls, sheer rolls, and miscellaneous "specialty" ribbon, as well as needles for sewing buttons and book binding and such.

I stack my quilting rulers on the left, along with a little index of all my inks and punches. The yellow, orange, and green flower pots hold pens, small tools, and scissors. Aren't they the cutest! Those colors will cheer me up this winter for sure, and the pots were only 50 cents a piece on sale at Hobby Lobby. I couldn't NOT buy them.

The white tray holds my acrylic blocks and Making Memories magnetic stamp handles. Those MM magnetic stamps seemed like such a good idea at the time, but in truth, they are a pain in my tookus. Don't buy them unless you are really, really patient. I really should move those off my desk. Haven't used them in a couple of years.

The baby wipe tote holds a damp washcloth for cleaning stamps, and under it is my Ultra clean stamp cleaning pad for stubborn stains.

That sounds like a laundry detergent commercial.

The small stack of six drawers on the right holds archival pens for scrapbooking, such as Zig writers and Micron pens, sorted by color. Of course, my SU markers are on top of that, along side a flower pot that holds...drum roll please...deco scissors. Yes, I've kept them and am not afraid to use them!

Please feel free to ask questions about anything you see in these pictures that I've not covered or that you want to see more closely. I've been stamping for close to eight years now, and that's a lot of time to collect and develop quirky ways to do things. Next time we visit my craft room, I show you what all's under the desk. Woohoo! Bet you can't wait!


  1. are too funny. Thanks for giving all of us a peak into your craft room. Sounds like you are well stocked up. I don't have nearly the supplies and no room for more as I still stamp in the 'dungeon' and it is small and cramped. I dream about having a wonderful small stamping room some day but alas it is just a dream in my little house....maybe when one of my boys move out??
    have a happy weekend.

  2. Karen,

    One thing I've learned is that you don't need all the stuff I have to make drop-dead gorgeous cards. Think about how little went into Ode to Mistletoe.

    Stuff isn't nearly as important as imagination and determination!


  3. Wow -- you are very organized. I should take a few pics of my place...might just drive you insane...maybe I will, just for a laugh!! I love how you keep a wet washcloth to clean your stamps in the baby wipe holder....totally going to steal that idea ... have I told you that you are brilliant lately??!! LOL And I love your comment above to Karen -- so true, one really doesn't need a lot of stuff to create....but we all just keep buying it ... right!!?? :-) Have a great day!!

  4. I like the drawers for unfinished projects. I have a shelf for them, and I need to sift through them again to see if it's ever going to happen. :)

  5. Wow Susan, I was pretty happy with my craft space, but I think I may borrow a tip or two from you.
    I leave incomplete projects out in the open (where they mock me) but are also in danger of errant ink and scissors.
    Your space is pretty tidy, I think that goes a long way to helping the creative process.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love how everything looks so neat and tidy. I'll bet that it stays that way most of the time, too!

  7. susan,
    thanks for another peak at your excellent organizational skills. my space is cluttered and fluid, and small. but i still have fun!! here's a fun question. do you craft sitting down or standing up? i attended a workshop years ago and everyone was sitting. i had to go over in the corner so i cd stand. can't work sitting down!! have a great weekend.
    marty ferraro

  8. I am so envious of your craft space! I have the "space", just not the will yet to properly organize it. :P Thanks also for your post so the next time my husb rolls his eyes at my buying yet more supplies, I can say, "This is nothing! Do you know how many inks (or whichever need I'm excusing...) Lateblossom has?!?" teehee

  9. Rebecca: It only looks that tidy in between projects. I will try to take a picture of the mess generated soon!

    Marty: I move around. But mostly, I sit.

    Lindsey: Feel free to use me as an excuse anytime!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  10. Susan, what's that hanging up high above your yellow flower pot? And what's different about a quilter's ruler and why would you have multiples?

    Jars for ribbon is a stroke of genius!

    Can't wait to see the rest, like maybe you have a unique way to store ink refills, stickles, liquid pearls and block-mounted stamps?


  11. Bahb

    High above the yellow flowerpot is a sample pack of all the SU colors. I hardly use it anymore, but it's nice to have when I'm stuck for colors.

    Quilt rulers are clear acrylic rulers. They come in all sorts of sizes for quilt blocks, and you can use them with a craft knife to cut paper. I have 12x12, 12x6, and 6x6. Each is useful for different things, but mainly I use the 6x6 for cutting mattes and panels I've stamped. I stamp first and then cut. That way, my stamped images are always straight and centered. The larger ones are for scrapbooking or other craft projects.

    I find quilt rulers easier to use than my Fiskars 12" rotary paper trimmer for smaller cuts. I use the trimmer to cut card bases or for (rare) mass-production.

    Clear quilt rulers are GREAT for cropping photos, too, because you can really see where you're cutting.

    Hope that helps!

  12. Thanks for the insight into your stamping domain! I love the idea of having a drawer for cards you are stuck on - I just shove them to one side of my desk and wonder why the place always looks trashed!

  13. OOOOhh, I can't wait! Thanks for the peek into your creative zone! My craft room is a disaster and I take ideas from here and there. I may reorganize my inks based on what I have seen here today!

  14. I, for one, can't wait to see what is under your desk!! I have no dedicated stamp space - I stamp at the kitchen table and have issues with mess so I always tidy up after I play - I keep all my "goto" supplies in a large armoire cabinet in the kitchen so I'm always fascinated at how other people organize their goodies! Your blog is very inspiring to me - thanks for all you do!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!