The answer is messy. Most of these CD cases hold individual sentiment sets, such as Papertrey's Wet Paint or My Favorite Things Label Maker Sentiments. For smaller sets, there might be two per case. BUT I do occasionally break sets apart to move sentiments to this bin. This is usually when I notice that there are particularly useful sentiments in mostly image sets that I keep forgetting about.
For instance, behind the Birthday tab pictured above are three CD cases: 1) Papertrey's Birthday Basics (with a few other random PTI birthday sentiments from other sets because there was room), 2) Papertrey's Birthday Bash Sentiments (plus Polka Dot Basics, another small PTI set), and 3) Simon Says It's Your Birthday (plus a single Gina K birthday wishes sentiment culled from a larger set of flowers). With the three CD cases is a transparency folder of StampinUp's Endless Birthday Wishes.
As you can see, there is a lot of compromising going on with this particular organization.
The tab behind Birthday is labelled All Occasion and contains the bigger mixed sentiment sets like Papertrey's Mega Mixed Messages and Clearly Besotted's A Little Sentimental. I don't ever break those sets up.
Bottom line on sentiments...there are still plenty of them left with the original set and stored on the other side of the room. But all the sets that contain mostly sentiments are on my desk, as are randomly pulled, useful sentiments from sets that are mostly images. If I find that I use a set that contains combinations of sentiments and images primarily for one or the other, I store them accordingly.
For instance, Faux Ribbon has a bunch of sentiments that I almost never use, but I frequently use the faux ribbon stamps; therefore, that set is with my borders and backgrounds rather than with the sentiments. Yet when I finally decided that I was getting tired of the images in Botanical Silhouettes, I moved it to the sentiments bin because I kept forgetting that there are some fabulous sentiments in that set.
I expect that's all as clear as mud, but it works for me. Some people are pathologically attached to keeping sets intact and whole, and I completely understand that. Other people break sets up without a second thought, which seems a tad free-wheeling to me. For practical reasons, I'm somewhere in the middle, leaning toward whole sets.
On a different subject, reader Gaye, noticing my ink pads are stored upright, asked whether storing ink pads upside down will make them last longer. For dye inks, the answer is probably yes; this was certainly the logic behind StampinUp's flip-top ink pads, which keep the pad facing down. Dye ink is very runny, and gravity will keep the ink from sinking through the pad. For pigment and chalk inks, which are very thick, the answer is probably no.
I used to store my dye ink pads upside down, but it was so frustrating to sift through stacks of upside down pads that I flipped them upright and haven't thought about it since.
Now it's time to take a closer look at the right side of my craft space. Here's where almost all my stamps, paper, and less frequently used supplies live.
On the far right, you can see a six-drawer storage unit that holds most of my punches (although the simple shapes--circles, squares, ovals--are in three of the white drawers on the far left, just to make things complicated). On top of the punch storage is a fun little display tree I bought at JoAnn's last fall. It has a bunch of Zentangles tiles hanging from it.
The brush hanging on the wall above the light switch plate (yes, that's Shakespeare!) is a Chinese glue brush used by bookbinders. It's too cool for me to use, so I hang it on the wall. Plus, I'd need to be working on a HUGE book to need a glue brush that big.
The inspiration board displays the cards you've sent me. There have been a few additions since I took the picture (thanks, Janet and Marty!), but all cards sent to me end up here for as long as there's space.
Under the inspiration board is my clear stamp storage. There's also a bin of Christmas stamps on the top right shelf just below this.
The clear stamps are organized into categories: Birds & Bees (animals), Odds & Ends, Graphics (backgrounds, borders, shapes and such), Botany, Food & Drink, Autumn, Faith, Alphabets, Hero Arts Months (12 sets Hero came out with years ago for scrapbooking), Christmas (on the shelf below). As you can see, some sets here are in CD cases, and others are in transparency folders. I know it's crazy, but this doesn't bother me at all.
The short bookshelf contains two shoeboxes. The white one contains Christmas cards I've made, and the teal one contains Thanksgiving Crusade cards. The three white drawers on the top shelf have markers, spare ink pads (duplicates of pads on my desk, mostly gifts), and sponges and stipple brushes. The paisley box contains Christmas stamps, and the binders contain my stamp index that is so out of date as to be pretty much worthless.
The tall bookshelf (7') holds lots of stuff. The white shoe boxes on the second and third shelves all contain wood-mounted rubber stamps, organized by theme (Backgrounds, Shadow, Trees, Fauna, Flowers, Spring/Summer/Fall, Winter, Faith, Occasions, Christmas, Alphabets, and so forth).
|Because sometimes you need to be told to relax. And yes, there|
are a couple of pear stamps on display. Because sometimes you need to laugh.
|These pretty blue bins hold my Zentangles supplies and|
supplies for mailing cards. The leather cases
hold Prismacolor pencils and watercolor pencils.
|Office supplies (rubber bands, post-its, pencils, erasers, extra staples, etc.)|
and a bin for completed cards complete the top shelf.
A special note about the bead cases of infrequently-used embellishments, such as buttons, brads, eyelets, and sequins. These bead cases lock, which means it's hard to spill them all over the place, and I highly recommend them for storing small items.
The bead cases used to reside in my embellishment drawers, but last year, when I realized they hardly ever were opened, I moved them out of the drawers and to the bookshelf. They've hardly been touched since (until today when I retrieved a single white eyelet for a project for IC580). I suspect I'll soon be able to move them into my unfinished basement area storage, where supplies go before being sold off, donated, or kept "because I might need them one day." I also suspect these will end up in the last category, especially after today's eyelet incident.
Now we come to the baker's rack, which I love. The top shelf contains pretty glass jars of ribbon that hardly ever gets used these days, but they are pretty so they stay. The green hanging file box behind the Angel of Courage contains specialty papers...rice paper, vellum, papers with bits of flowers or grass in them, glitter paper, wood veneer paper, etc. The mixing bowl (which belonged to my grandmother) holds a bunch of washi tape.
The next shelf contains card-stock storage in Cropper Hopper vertical magazine-style containers. One contains Papertrey colored card stock, another holds what's left of my StampinUp card stock, and the other holds various white card stocks. Next to that is a Cropper Hopper scrap holder for scraps of colored card stock, and a large watercolor block tablet.
Seeing so little white card stock reminds me I need to place a large order from Papertrey. I'm shocked the stash is so low!
The three storage drawers on the left side of that shelf hold cutting tools, including Fiskars ShapeCutter templates and cutter, and Creative Memories circle and oval cutters. The top drawer includes spare Exacto blades, a box cutter and spare blades, my StampinUp piercing tool kit, spare cutting blades and strips for the Fiskars rotary trimmer on my green desk, and so forth.
The twelve drawers on the bottom shelf hold all sorts of stuff, including envelopes (most A2s are in the big box on the bookshelf), clean washcloths for my stamp-cleaning needs, packaging supplies (such as clear boxes to hold card sets, coffee bags for food gifts, small zipper bags for whatever), fabric and book-binding supplies, laminating sheets, and of course circle, oval, and square punches that don't fit with the rest of the punches.
Under the baker's rack are two one-foot squares of good-one-side plywood with pieces of waxed paper between them and dumb-bells. These are for drying wet items that might curl...especially useful for drying book covers and watercolor backgrounds. The boards also come in handy when I stamp a large background stamp that I need to stand on.
And that's it. Wow, if you made it this far, I'm impressed. Even I'm bored now.
But my craft space is awesome, and I feel very lucky to have such a large space and so many drawers and boxes to store stuff in. Having an organized space means I can make a big mess with easy-to-find supplies, quickly clean up, and get back to making another mess.
That's how I work. Feel free to share your alternate methods of working in the comments, or ask any questions you have about any of the above. Tomorrow we will get back to business as usual.
Mercy, grace, peace, and love,