Monday, December 27, 2010

Of Thank You Notes and Reorganization

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to think about thank you notes. Today, the boys and I will write a bunch of them. Some I've made over the last year are Christmas-themed, but those I've made in the last few weeks are not. Like this one, which uses a lamp from the Hero Arts Decorative Lamp set.

I can't remember exactly what green ink I used (maybe VersaMagic Tea Leaves...a dreamy green!), but the purply color is Boysenberry VersaColor, which is almost a dead ringer for SU's razzleberry. I wanted a table to ground the lamp but didn't want the bulk of a knot or bow added to what is already a double-dimensional card, so I wrapped SU dotted razzleberry ribbon flat around a popped panel. The lines of the grosgrain mimic the lines in the lamp shade, which is, of course, popped up. The card is 4.25" square, the sentiment is from PTI's anniversary set Round and Round, and the raised panel is 3" square.

Blithering about Reorganization...

I read Joan B's description of getting her supplies organized into her new Scrapbox on her blog here. This, combined with a revived confessional thread on SCS about people having too many supplies and a new thread by a woman who is putting herself on a stamp-supply spending freeze, and I felt uncontrollably motivated to reorganize my craft room. You see, my room's been looking cluttered lately, and my AR/OC self is feeling weighted down by that. I want to start the new year with a clean, tidy, organized room.

I spent about three hours yesterday going through stuff, condensing, and I'm not quite finished. You see, two years ago, when I resolved to use every image stamp I own (still ongoing and a very good resolution!), I also resolved not to buy any craft supplies I didn't really need. I focused my buying on replacing consummables I loved (self-adhesive gemstones, especially, and PTI white cardstock) and the occasional punch, as well as project-specific supplies. For stamps, I limited my spending to birthday and Christmas money, which, given the generosity of my family, has been more than sufficient.

As I used up some supplies, I didn't replace them. Ribbon, for instance. Two years ago, I used ribbon on virtually every card I made, so I bought it gleefully. (Unfortunately, now I don't use ribbon on cards nearly as often...though obviously judging from today's card, it's still a player.) Back then, I had 9 glass jars and two photo boxes full of ribbon. I mean FULL. Yesterday, without purging any ribbon at all, I eliminated the two photoboxes. The jars are still fairly full, but that's what I call progress.

My plan is to use up as much of my ribbon stash as possible and then start buying silk ribbon, which seems so much more sensible for cards as it results in flatter bows and knots. Unfortunately, until I use up most of what I have, I must resist the temptation.

I also have given away or donated a bunch of stuff in my quarterly purges. The result of all this fiscal responsibility was loose storage...drawers that were half-full and boxes that had just a few things left in them. Hence, the need to condense. Plus, the room had just become cluttered and messy, with random things stuffed in odd places.

It's already much improved, and I only have about an hour of work left. Obviously, any 12' x 10' room requiring over four hours to reorganize represents a serious mental illness. Okay, well, a mild one, at least. It also shows how incredibly blessed I am to have easy access to supplies and the means to purchase such a hoard without resorting to credit cards. It helps to have a husband with even more expensive hobbies so I need not feel guilty about all this stuff.

For two years, I've been heading in the right direction toward balancing possession and usefulness, and that's a resolution it seems I can stick to.

What are your crafting resolutions this year?


  1. First, your card is great -- those lamps just kill me, and I love the colors!

    Just went and read Joan's thread -- lucky duck!! I'm on a one-month spending freeze for January, just to see if I can do it :) In the meantime, I'll be cleaning and purging and organizing. The new year just seems like the right time!

  2. I've been threatened with an intervention but I convinced them after Christmas money + SU Salebration to get the new colors and free sets...then I'll submit to serious not buying (at least til birthday in May) Am doing a project for Operation Write Home and have cut and prepared over 600 cards and lots of layers for assembly (you would know by the stash I have left)sooooooooooooooooo resolution is to USE what I have...check back with me December 31, 2011 and see how I did
    Yet again you are an inspiration
    blessings of joy and contentment for the New Year be yours
    patti moffett

  3. I have been pretty stingy with buying supplies last year, so I will probably continue on this path. One thing I have bought more of lately - punches! Just found one on clearance right before Christmas....
    If at all possible, I would love to organise all my stuff better and buy this piece of furniture I've seen at IKEA.
    Your cards have been an inspiration to me and have helped me stay clear of too many layers etc.
    Thank you for keeping up with your blog, I enjoy it so much!
    Have a Happy new Year,

  4. Great card. In August I put myself on a year-long spending freeze, with the only exception being adhesive. Even though PTI has released some stamp sets that I'd like to have, I really don't NEED any more. Donating all of the paper crafty things to our local Senior Center I've made over the last couple years helped unburden me lots. Love to make the stuff but never know what to do with it once it's made. My stamping area was organized in August by my daughter and granddaughter and I'm still trying to figure out where everything is.

  5. Great thank you card, Susan!

    My craft space is a hopeless mess right now, so one of my goals for the new year is to get it reorganized. I also want to focus on patterned paper. It's the most hoarded item I have, & I don't even use it on cards that often, so I'm going to try to use up OR purge what I have on hand.

  6. Love your card, Susan - such fun colors and a wonderful design!

    As much as I'd like a cabinet to organize my things, I'd much rather have a little elf who cleans my desk and gets it ready for the next project :) Since this is never going to happen, I will try again this year to be more diligent about cleaning up after my project is done. I agree with Joan about goals and resolutions. I'm much more apt to achieve my goals than to keep a resolution. My goal this year is to organize my craft area and donate those crafty things that I no longer want or need. I've already started putting things in a small box. I'm hoping that box will be exchanged for a larger box before I'm through:)

  7. Hi Susan. I've only just recently discovered your blog and love your CAS style. I've spent the better part of the last 3 years "collecting" supplies and not actually making a whole lot. Because I can only get supplies via the internet (not much in the way of crafty goods here in Bermuda) I always convince myself it's better to get a whole bunch of stuff at once to make the cost of shipping worthwhile. As a result I have enough stuff to start my own store and am often so overwhelmed by options that I freeze up. So recently I decided to start setting little challenges for myself. I would take a paper collection or a stamp or an embellishment and make as many different cards as I could with that items. I stared by using 2 different Cosmo Cricket collections and have a cute little batch of cards now. It seems to have helped with my "freezing" and I'm having fun again and not being daunted by all my stash. I really should not have to buy much of anything for the next year so I plan to continue with my personal challenges and make a dent in the supply stash!

    Happy 2011 to you and I look forward to seeing your creations!

  8. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately to some)since we did a makeover in my scraproom in February of 2010, I've managed to keep the room well organized and clean. I made a promise to myself that I would "clean" all my mess (and I am a messy scrapper/cardmaker) every night. I've managed to stick with that promise and now I've discovered that I am a much more organized crafter because each project is like starting new. I love my new room and how it's organized. It has really made a difference in my abiltiy to complete projects! I've spent a good bit in the past few months on new stamps, and that's something I need to put a halt too. I NEED to use the stamps I already have!

  9. My craft space is a corner of my bedroom (and under the beds and on the shelf in the closet and under a table and, and. It will take me more that 5 hours to organize things again...and I have a bookmaking project to teach in 10 days. It will happen and things will be shared with others, but I can't promise not to buy new stamps and tools. It's a weakness.

  10. I haven't really given my crafting resolutions much thought yet, but your post has brought it to the forefront. I know that letting go of older supplies to make room for the new will probably be a high priority.

    I've loved your efforts to use all of your stamp sets and would love to try something similar, but only after I've purged!

  11. My craft room needs to be cleaned and organized!!! Do you hire out? I could fly you to the Pacific Northwest??? Seriously, I would like to get some more cleaned up in my craft room and actually gain access to my sewing machine! I would also like to maintain a stream of productivity of about a card or project per day. I think I just about managed that one for this year. A new goal I have would be to actually submit for publication, not just think about submitting. Enjoy your day! I have plans to make some thank you cards with my daughter, too.

  12. So, so cute, really love these colors together!

  13. Hello Susan

    Great thank you card. I also love the Valentine card you posted.

    I try to keep as organised as possible - too much mess means my head aches!! I did a bit of a tidy before Christmas and freed up drawer space - it was great.

    Like many others, I too have lots and lots of stamps and this year I am going to make a point of using each one at least once!! I am also going to try and not buy new stamps.

    Wishing you and your family and very Happy 2011.

  14. Ah - so many supplies, so little time! It's good to hear that I'm not alone and I am really hoping that 2011 will bring a much more organized and frugal me. We'll see. Love your cards, love your blog and love reading all your posts. Thanks! ~chris (another with an enabling DH whose hobby is MUCH more expensive than mine)

  15. I made the big mistake of thinking I'd get my craft room reorganized before I finished making my Christmas cards. I started the reorganization and then had to make the rest of my cards in an even greater state of chaos as I'd moved a bunch of my supplies to the spare bedroom for sorting while the rest was in upheaval in the craft room. Number one New Year's resolution is to finish the process!!

  16. Love your ribbon "table" for the lamp. I'll have to think of ribbon in a whole new way, and use up some of my stash. Bulky bows do no work, as I mail most of my cards. Despite a new craft studio with two walls of storage, and a really large oak crafting table, all made by my DH, I have run out of storage space. This says to me that it is purge time. Should have done it more ruthlessly before I moved the stuff into the room, but hindsight, etc. So that is my goal, to have all but the most essential tools and supplies out of sight in their proper storage place.

  17. Lovely card, Susan, also unusual, and sure to make the recipient ooh and aah. It's really pretty! As to your reorganizing, I am in awe. And I'm going to copy you! I swear, I'm going into my card room tomorrow and taking out anything I haven't used in a year, and donating it SOMEwhere! I have too much stuff, and I continue to accumulate --- not all buying, but "saving" something to use for a card that somehow never materializes. I've got so much scrap CS I couldn't use it all in forever. I keep every smidgen of ribbon. I have probably 3 staplers.......and have never put a staple on a card. I have brads, metal buckles, etc., that I've never used. It's all going! Thanks for your inspiration! Aaaand, I'm going to try not to buy any more stamps.....

  18. Your lamp card is so pretty, Susan! I love the colors, dimension, and of course...the image!

    I seriously need to organize my crafting area/supplies, and I'm happy that you are getting the job done!

  19. Lovely card! I want to organize my craft supplies. I have an entire room in which to craft, but I don't have shelves with the exception of 3 shelves on a 5 shelf book case. I have a large chest of drawers and two 3-drawer cases, plus work table and a small round table. I don't have a lot of stuff, but it's definitely poorly organized. I also have a small ribbon case and some paper holders. For Christmas, I received a Cricut Expression so I must find room for it. Sometimes I get discouraged because I end up working on about 5 or 6 inches of space on my work table. 2011 has got to be my year of organization!!!

  20. Love the composition of this card. Great. Kudos on cleaning out your room. I have been on a no-buy scheme myself for the last two months. I am getting low on adhesive though. Have a great day!

  21. Isn't it wonderful that we all have the same problem--too much! What a great country this is! I cleaned up my stamping "tower" the day after Christmas by putting away (in a separate storage file drawer)all my Christmas stamps, designer papers and embellishments until I start working on Christmas cards again in Aug. I wish I had taken a "before" picture!

    I don't use a lot of ribbon because it's too bulky for mailing. Instead, I buy embroidery floss in lots of colors--cheaper, lighter, easier to use and store. Since I send out 500 cards a year (100 Christmas) and teach card-making classes every Wed., I have to be well organized! (more on my blog) My room is only 9x10 and includes my desk and computer, so "need" is a relative term!

    I'm also on a spending freeze (self-imposed) until April when a bunch of us go to the Allentown (PA) Stamp Show!

  22. No comment on the amount of stuff. Love the card though!

    Let's just say that I'm in the middle to cleaning, reorganizing, etc. and I sort of am feeling sick. And not in a good way. Ok, back to cleaning!!!!

  23. I love following along your blog and all of the beautiful cards that you make! My resolution is to stop being stingy with my supplies. I attend a church that has a small stamping group. I want to make cards for them to make that use current colors and stamp pads :) I am like you, I LOVE my cardstock, but find it hard to use. My other group I want to help is OWH. My sister is in the military, so the men and women overseas have a special place in my heart. Hopefully I will stick to this resolution and spread the stamping joy everywhere!!

  24. Hey, Susan! When I saw your lampshade, I realized it looked like the "Create a Cupcake" stamp in the new Occasions Mini! Oooops, sorry! Not exactly along the lines of your resolution!


  25. Teehee... in my darker moments, I compare my stamping spending to the cost of restoring a vintage MGB, and tend to feel much better.
    I am totally drawn to the popped lampshade on this card... it just looks so awesome! As does the whole card. I'm quite regretting not investing in anything razzleberry, it's such a rich shade.


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