You see, the butter knife used to be my preferred tool for scoring paper. The butter knife did an excellent job scoring when paired with a quilting ruler...a much better job than a bone folder did because it was thinner and made a sharper, crisper line. In fact, that butter knife contributed to the creation of every card I made for years.
Until some years ago when I got a gift card to Archiver's for Christmas and decided to buy a Scor-Pal.
The knife, too thin to use on the Scor-Pal, stopped being a frequently-used tool and started simply being a space-taker-upper. There's certainly no longer a need to keep it in a cup full of useful tools, except perhaps for sentimental reasons and deep, sincere appreciation for its long service prior to its job being outsourced--through no fault of its own--to the Scor-Pal.
I'll also sadly note that the Archiver's at which I purchased the Scor-Pal closed a few years ago, its jobs being outsourced presumably to the Internet. In fact, the butter knife and Archiver's would both like to register their disgust and contempt for progress and the part I played in both their demises.
My apologies to the wounded parties. I never meant to hurt either of you.
Now we'll take a look at the small desk and see just how absolutely useful it is to me, not least because it is home to my Scor-Pal, a handy device that contributes to every single card I've made for the past few years and looks to be set for many more years of use...unless something better--and a gift card to buy it--comes along.
The small desk is actually quite ugly, an old wooden desk that is held together by L-brackets and screws because the military-contracted movers who took it apart in 1989 failed to keep the hardware that holds it together, which led me to be insulted by a chauvinistic old man at a furniture store who told me to, and I quote, "just let my husband fix it." There's no rage quite like that of a 22-year-old feminist who would be darned if she'd let some old geezer stand between her and a fully-assembled desk. The Ace Hardware man was much more helpful, but our solution, though entirely functional, wasn't aesthetically pleasing. I settled for functional, being a poor 22-year-old who just really needed a desk.
But I digress.
When I set up in the basement, I realized that a green tablecloth would hide the ugly but useful desk and add a splash of color to the space as well. This way, when you walk down the stairs into the basement, you don't see an ugly desk with lots of stuff under it. You see a green tablecloth that usually looks neat and tidy unless the dog starts nosing around it.
On top of the green-covered desk is my Fiskar's 12" rotary cutter that my husband bought for me about 15 years ago. That magnificent beast is still going strong. I cut all card bases on it as well as any mass-production cutting (the Stephen Ministry ornaments, for example).
Conveniently placed beside the cutter is the Scor-Pal. Note there are two bone folders on it. One is your standard bone folder that isn't made of bone but of plastic because nothing is real anymore. The other folder is made of teflon, which is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious because you can rub paper all day with it and the paper will not get shiny. Isn't that wonderful!
I retired the fake bone folder to the other side of the room when I got the teflon folder, but after repeated use, the teflon folder wore down in an odd way that kept it from scoring crisp lines. Thus, the bone folder was retrieved from exile and now usefully scores each card, after which it is put down so the teflon folder can take over and smooth the fold without shining it up.
This is why the butter knife will never go back to the kitchen (does anyone use butter knives for butter anymore?). Who knows when I'll have a scoring need that neither the fake bone folder nor the teflon folder can meet? Won't I feel silly if I have to go upstairs and rummage around in my silverware drawer for that poor knife? Of course I will.
And this is just one reason why our craft stashes could be used as Exhibit A in our mental-health competency trials.
On the far end of the green-covered table, you'll see a few baskets, a box of tissues, and an electric pencil sharpener. One basket holds new stuff that needs to be used before it can be properly integrated into the stash. (Since I implemented this basket, I've actually used all the stamps I buy, which is pretty sensible.) The other basket contains a bunch of Valentine's Day stuff gathered to make a bunch of Valentine's Day cards for the card shop at church. I fill a similar basket in July with Christmas stuff and another with stuff for the Stephen Ministry ornaments.
Which brings me to a recommendation to use these very inexpensive baskets (found at Target or similar) to organize your larger projects. They do help keep everything tidy.
Now it's time to look under that green tablecloth and see what it's hiding.
The entire left tower contains embellishments sorted by color (neutrals get two drawers, then blue/violet, green, yellow/orange, and pink/red). For example,
These embellishment drawers used to be a lot fuller, but over the past few years, I've simplified a lot and moved less-frequently-used embellishments elsewhere. These drawers now mainly contain rhinestones, pearls, enamel dots, flock, Stickles, Smooch, Sakura stardust pens, twine/floss, and a few other things as needed.
Arranging embellishments by color was first proposed by Stacy Julian of Simple Scrapbooks fame ages ago. It's brilliant, and I won't store them any other way.
The right-hand tower contains, from top to bottom, cheap recycled copy paper (which keeps ink off my stamping mat), metallic embellishments and markers, adhesives (including Scor-Tape, various glues, dimensionals, and glue dots), Brilliance inks (because I ran out of drawers on my desk...I told you I have an ink problem), embossing supplies (gun, ink pad, powders and such), and watercolor crayons/Twinkling H2Os. On top of the towers are my watercolor brushes (in a really cool brush case), a pad of cheap sketch paper, Bounty paper towels (which don't leave lint so they are the best), and a roll of waxed paper.
Not pictured but living to the right of the two towers are several large flat bins full of mat board, Canson paper, large sheets of art paper, etc. They really belong in the unfinished area of the basement. I used them mostly for bookbinding and haven't opened them in over a year.
And now you can clearly see why having an L-shaped desk arrangement might be a very good thing.
To backtrack a bit, Janet asked me to show my inks, which was coyly refraining from doing yesterday because, like I said, I definitely have an ink issue. But why not? Y'all already know I have issues and you're still reading, which means you delight in watching train wrecks or you are, in fact, also a train wreck and would appreciate the validation.
So here you go. The first six pictures show the tower of drawers on the right of my desk. My apologies to the OCD people out there...a few pads are pointing in the wrong direction. It's part of my desensitizing program.
The above drawers contain opaque inks that aren't shimmery. These include pigment inks and VersaColor chalk inks, which to me look exactly the same on paper and work exactly the same, at least as far as I can tell.
Below is my collection of Distress inks and the blending tools and pads that go with them. Under each cube is a depression in the case that stores the pad for that color. It's quite a nice system.
Next, StampinUp inks. At one time, I had lots more of these, but these 15 were the colors that I actually used, so the rest were sold off.
Finally, the bottom drawer on the right tower contains all my Kaleidacolor pads.
Yesterday's post showed the Neutral/Purple drawer of dye inks, but here are the rest of the dye ink colors.
Finally, under the small desk are my Brilliance pearlescent and Delicata inks. These are delightful but don't get quite as much use as the other inks.
One thing I like about storing my inks this way is that the drawers are light and pull out easily. I can stack them on my desk as needed, and slide them back into place when I'm finished. It's also a good way to store different ink pad styles together. It would be very helpful if all ink companies used exactly the same cases for their inks...things would stack so nicely! But alas, they don't think of our storage needs, so these drawers are a not perfect but still mostly satisfactory way of storing them.
Seeing all these photos on my computer screen really does make me feel like a crazy hoarder who is in serious need of an intervention. But I suspect if I go look at my husband's 45 pairs of running shoes, I'll feel pretty normal.
Eh. Normal is over-rated. And aren't all the colors just gorgeous?