Friday, January 17, 2014

First-World Problems, Balance, and a Little Give-Away

Conspicuous consumption creates all sorts of problems. How many of you have craft spaces so over-flowing with stuff that you don't even know what you have? How many of you have stamp sets you've never opened and used? How many of you have enough card stock to last about five lifetimes?

Well, welcome to the club. I used to have so much stuff I didn't know what I had, unused stamps just "waiting" for the perfect project, and a dozen Cropper Hopper paper holders full of card stock. Strict discipline over a period of years led me to my current state of relative sanity.

It's a process, people. A never-ending process.

Now, many of you don't have problems wallowing in plenty. In fact, you may even enjoy it, so yay for you! I, however, did not enjoy the chaos and started overcoming it by severely restricting my stamp buying and actually using every single image I bought. This went extremely well, and I now won't put away new stamps in my highly organized storage until I've used them all. This new habit is fully integrated into my stamping life, so yay me!

My card stock collection was pared down in two ways. First, I sold or gave away a LOT of my 8.5"x11" colored card stock...from six containers to two. I bought most of it just before realizing that one-layer white cards were my favorite format. *sigh* Second, I moved most of my 12"x12" card stock to an out-of-the-way closet so I didn't have to look at it. One day, I'll either get back to scrapbooking or decide to sell it all, but in the meantime, that card stock is out of sight, out of mind.

As for embellishments, several years of ruthless purging and completely obsessive organizing got me to a happy place. All my embellishments are stored in Sterilite drawers, organized by color. (If you haven't implemented this scheme, do so immediately. It. Will. Change. Your. Life. Seriously.)

Part of my never-ending process includes sifting through every single item in my craft space once every three to four months to remind myself what I have, purge items that still haven't been used and aren't likely to be used ever, and tidy what's left for easy finding. At first, this sifting would take days; now, it takes a few hours. Yay for me! Anyway, during my last sift session, I realized that I have been hoarding colored rhinestones.

Now, why in the world would I do that? It's easy as pie to color rhinestones to match ink using Copics and Sharpies. (Bics, I have found, don't dry as quickly as the other two do). You can even blend colors on rhinestones fairly easily to get just the right shade to match your ink. So why do I have five unopened packs of pink bling and a bunch of purple bling that doesn't match any ink I own? What a colorful jumble my rhinestone collection has become!

So I committed to using up as much of my colored bling as possible. Here's the first two of a number of birthday cards using up an abundance of bling.

4.25" Square

5.5" x 4.25"

To make these cards, I stamped a random-sized dot border from Hero Arts (discontinued years ago), stamped the sentiment, and covered each dot on the border with bling. These are fun and sparkly cards...and very easy! You could create your own random border without the stamp, or search your stash for border stamps you could adapt to this technique.

You could even use multiple lines, or frame shapes like circles, squares, ovals, etc. I've been experimenting. Bling can go almost anywhere, really, and more is better!

I have no idea why I moved the sentiment on the rectangular card, or why I put it where I did on the square card. But I like them both.

To celebrate my transition from hoarder to user of bling, I'm going to give away three packs of bling to three randomly selected readers who share their favorite organizational tip/product/plan in the comments. Comments will close for the give-away on January 20, 2014, at midnight.

Remember, if you don't include a tip, your comment will not be in the running for the give-away. Let's help each other discover new and better ways to overcome our first-world problems of conspicuous consumption!

While you're at it, you might want to think about my Use-Your-Stamps Challenge. It will help you figure out what sorts of stamps you really do love and want to work with...and the ones that are cool but not necessarily for you.

Happy Stamping!

stamps: Hero Arts border, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounders


  1. Free bling!!! Hooray!!! I have year to come to to grips with being able to use every stamp! I first want to be able to FIND every stamp! LOL I eagerly open boxes or envelopes when they arrive, and then they get squirreled away in my maelstrom of a craft room.

    I am not good at organizing, but as an idea is required, I will do my best. Years ago I saw someone mention on their blog that they use a plastic over the door shoe older from Walmart for their paper punches. I immediately ran out and got one. It has see though pouches, and hangs on the inside of my craft room door. It really works well for me. And as I have been getting more dies rather than punches, it still has space for all my punches!

  2. Oh, Susan. What an inspiring post. I love to organize, and have lots of tips, but will just share one here. I keep all of my colored cardstock in a rolling rack with hanging file folders I got at The Container store. Each hanging folder has 1 or 2 colors of cardstock--a few full sheets, all the scraps (which are great for die cutting) and any of the matching pattern paper packs (PTI only). I write the name of the color on a little piece of the colored paper and use that in the little plastic divider label. My colors are in a rough rainbow order. I have a ring that I keep on my desk with die cut tags of every color, in the same order as my hanging files, so I can quickly see the colors I have and check color combos. Here is a link to the blog post where I talk about this paper storage system.
    And, if anyone is interested in more ideas, here is a link to all of my posts about how I organize my supplies: I'm looking forward to reading other people's tips.


    I bought some cheap IKEA storage boxes and separated my small card snippets (ATC sized) in to colours and have been trying to use those. Once I've used them up then the boxes will be recycled for other small things ... like embellishments.

    Happy Friday


  4. I am loving all your ideas. I'm not mentally there yet, but I love the idea of going through your stash regularly AND using every stamp before storing them. As for my organizational tip, I use the storage boxes that you can find in the jewelry department. The ones that have like 12 little separation areas. When I buy new ribbon or twine, I re-wrap them on the DMC floss bobbins and store them in the box. I have one for twine, one for narrow ribbon, and one for wider ribbon. If I need twine, I can look quickly in that box and see which one to use. This also keeps me from buying super large quantities of any one color. I do the same with buttons. So far it's working for me!
    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

  5. Fabulous post today. I think there are a lot of crafters (me included) who have come to the realization that less is more. I'm in a huge mode of "using it up" this year. Cutting into paper that has been too fabulous to be used. Throwing away awfully outdated items, donating others and gifting things, too. It's very freeing.

  6. I love the idea of sorting your embellishments by color! And, I've read before that you color your rhinestones; but it never occured to me that you don't have to buy colored stones anymore! From now on it's all clear for me!!

    I save paper scraps for scrapbook titles. The number one rule is to always cut them so that no weird chads or edges can hook on other pieces of paper. Straight sides. Then I started sorting them by color some years ago. They go in gallon ziplock bags in a small tote. Now I don't have to sort through a million pieces of paper to find a color; just like colors in one bag.

    1. And I LOVE the use all your stamps challenge. I'm going to try that!

  7. Fabulous tips I use to be more of a hoarder but what has helped me to become a user is I remind myself that there will always be more and new things coming out and the products I use mean a lot to me so shouldn't I show how special they are by using products I love the most!

    1. Lisa, I love that attitude...use your best stuff to reflect how you love the recipients! Great tip!

  8. Love all the bling on these cards! It really puts the "happy" in the birthday greeting for me!
    My tip involves my embossing folders. I LOVE to add texture to my cards with embossing and as a result I have collected MANY folders. I store them in a cool faux leather small suitcase type thing I found at Goodwill. I don't have a lot of options for storage at this point so this works; but keeps them out of sight.
    I bought a pack of cheaper white card stock that I would not use for a finished card, but can use when trying to work out a design or something. I cut a bunch of sheets of this into quarters and made an embossed panel of every folder I own. Punched a whole in the corner of each and put them on a large key ring. Now I have an easy reference hanging on the cork board by my crafting table so I can see what all my options are embossing wise!

    1. Oh, Mary--I do the same thing, only I never thought to use an entire quarter sheet. I cut a bunch of PTI Tag Sale die cuts out of cheap white card stock, and that is what I embossed. I numbered each of my EF and also put the number on the tag sample, so they are easy to keep in order.

  9. Great idea for a post, Susan. Lots of good ideas here. I've been doing the same as you, and using new items before putting them away. I have a basket maked NBUS (never before used stuff) where all new purchases get dumped so I don't forget to use them. (it never seems to get emptied though). I currently also have a second basket for things that need to be labelled with my new label maker before they find their way to their permanent spot, this weekend's project. I've also made an effort to use more patterned paper, because I've found the longer you haord it, the less appeling it is. Best to use it when it's new and exciting. The other thing I did was start a blog a year ago so that I could participate in on-line challenges, giving me more opportunities to use my new stuff. I still have a ways to go, but things have improved significantly this past year. Much less stuff!

    My trick for organization is to try to store as many of my often used items as possible on the walls directly above my desk so that I'm more likely to put them back as soon as I've used them rather than letting things pile up. I have racks and shelves right in front of my face for inks, punches, stamps, and embellishments. I have another desk beside me where my Cuttlebug lives. That desk also has a rack for ribbon, baskets with dividers for Sizzix dies, impression plates and embossing folders. and the wall directly above it is covered in boards with magnetic sheeting where I stick all of my smaller dies so they are easy to find, and easier to return to their spot. Unfortunately, I'm not always so good at follow through and putting things back immediately! It's a work in progress.

  10. Thank you for the tip for organizing embellishments by color. Why have I not thought of that? I have brads in one box, buttons in another box, rhinestones in another box... And I DO NOT recommend this as an effective storage system. I have some ideas, not very original ones but anyways... I have all Christmas stuff in one place (papers, stamps, embellies, all of it) and all vintage stuff is gathered together too. Non- x mas or non-vintage designer papers are sort by color and I also divide them to busy and less busy patterns... My stamps are sort to background stamps (this box houses also stencils, bubble wrap and such), sentiments, cutesy outline stamps and builder sets -I do not sort by companies but by the way I use the stamps. I follow themes as well: floral stamps for example is one group. After sorting the stamps by how I use them I've been able to find them a lot better + got more use of different stamps.

  11. I store my rhinestones in their original packed inside a SU blue tin that used to hold a punch and those small ink has a metal clasp to keep the lid closed when not in use. I have the rhinestones in ROY G BIV order!

    Eyelets are stored in their original SU packaging.

    Brads are stored in clear plastic stack-able containers or in a small SU blue tin that used to hold embellishments.

    Buttons are in a plastic container that is very difficult for me to open thus they seldom get used but are sorted by color.

    1. I forgot to say that I will never be able to use all the stamps I have as some of them are not "my style" but I keep them because I make cards for 5 ladies ages 70-86 years old for them to send to their friends...and well...their style isn't always my style...but they just LOVE the cards I give to them for them to send! I even held a couple of card-making classes that they attended...and it was so fun to have them coloring with colored pencils...and the oldest lady would say to me...You know just the perfect placement for this, would you just put it there for me?

      That was her way of asking for help because she is a bit shaky! Fun for now I'll use lots of stamps but I can't get rid of any at the moment.

  12. One organizational method I utilize is to store my metal dies on free magnet sheets (i.e., sport schedules). I saw that you can buy magnetic sheets for die storage, but I realized we had just what I needed on the side of our fridge. I place the die covered sheets in clear plastic sheet protectors in a binder. It works for me.

  13. My favourite organizational technique is my old CD holder. I have a wonderful artistic metal rack that's five feet high. I bought 100 metal DVD tins that are all the same. Each section is a different company. I also keep my dies in these tins. I don't allow myself any stamps or dies outside of this rack. If the rack is full, I purge. It keeps everything together and everything is easily at my finger tips, which is important because I don't have a craft room. I craft at my dining room table and this keeps it neat.

  14. Flat embellishments are in big ziplock bags & then in containers like you use. My organization is a hybrid of colour & theme. I scrapbook as well as make cards. As an example, I do want all my Christmas embellishments together. Now, I have broken the Christmas down (I love Christmas, I have lots) into one bag for traditional and one for non traditional colours, but all the Christmas is in one bin. In fact, that bin has all holidays & seasons.

    Other stickers, bling, primas, etc, are sorted by colour and type. I want all the red together, but I want the words in a separate bag than the images. I know sometimes I want a word sticker & sometimes I want a prima flower (as an example).

    My brads are separate, in the smaller, hard plastic cases that have the small divided areas (I think they're bead cases, but I don't remember). I sort the brads by colour, too. I have a separate container for theme-y brads/buttons (plain buttons are in their own container, same kind as the brads).

    I am good at admitting when I'm not going to use something. I discovered quickly, for example, that I am not into flock or twine. Once I realized that, the stuff left my home.

  15. What great cards! I'm quite the lurker on your blog but I know exactly what you mean - I can never find things and don't know what I have! I've either got to stop buying or make more to use it all up! My tip is to use sticky backed (or use glue) sheets of magnets cut to size inside clear cd cases for storing nestabilities - you can see what they are, they stay put due to the magnets and they store easily. You could even use a label on the side of the case.

  16. I have enjoyed reading all these tips! Thanks Susan for starting the conversation. I was working in my craft room yesterday, sorting and carefully purging- I have been known to need something the day after getting rid of it! After years of crafting, I kinda know what I will use and thoughtfully buy new products. And they go in a bin until I have used them on a group of cards. Like one of your readers, I make cards that aren't necessarily "my style" but because they will please the recipients. I make lots of cards each month for charities so my in-progress cards and the supplies to finish them go into wicker bins that I buy on sale at Joanne's. I changed from cheap plastic bins to pretty wicker ones because I don't get tired of looking at them on my counter! My best tip is to store like items together and to keep everything that I use daily stored in easy access to my desk. I have my stamps organized by theme and in big drawers so I can easily find the one I am looking for. And I have found that if I sort and organize more frequently, it is easier to stay on top of. Whew, this got to be a long comment-I love organization!

  17. Susan, your blog has taught me a lot! I am a hoarder and I am trying to purge and then organize what supplies I am keeping. One idea I had has worked for me so far. I ordered thick (6ml) zip lock bags (6x8 in.) which I found via Google. I put my dies into the bags along with the picture from the original packaging and made a label to adhere to the top of the bag describing them. All these bags are stored standing up in a decorated box. All I need to do is check the labels to find just what I need. I pull out the bag, use the die, put it away, and back into the box it goes!
    I think I'll use Mary's tip about making samples of all my embossing folders to have available on a ring for easy reference, too. Thanks, Mary! And thank you, Susan, for this much needed forum!

  18. Hi Susan!
    I receive your posts in my inbox. Really admire how you make simple cards stand out. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide. I love making CAS cards due to the limited supplies I have, as it's fast to make & easy to mail.
    I live in Pakistan, where craft supplies are very limited. However, due to generous bloggers who have giveaways, I have managed to collect supplies.
    I would like to share my organizational tip for the stamps I have collected...
    I have 2 thick journals one for sentiments & the other for images. I added tabs to both journals after every 10-15 pages. The sentiments one has tabs with thank you, birthday, quotes, miscellaneous etc. & the image one has tabs with flowers, swirls, bugs, animals, vehicles etc. etc. In addition I have five 12x12 inch clear bags, numbered 1-5. I have the most commonly used in bag 1, flowers & swirls in bag 2, some designer sets in 3, wooden in another & Christmas & Easter in the 5th.
    All the images/sentiments in the set are stamped under the appropriate tab title & replaced in the original package.Then, the name of the stamp set is written & a number 1-5 is entered in red ink to denote which bag the stamp set is in. If I want a butterfly stamp, I just go through the images journal under the bugs tab, check the no if the bag it is in & dig it out.
    I hope my explanation made sense to you. It works for me with a limited number of stamps

  19. Oh, I like your cards and what a great way to use up some bling.
    I didn't know which organizing tip to submit so here are a few that I use in my craft room; oh, and one I done for my 5 year old granddaughter.

    Kids Crafts Supply Holder for granddaughters small desk

    Used a canvas apron that was made for gardening tools makes for a great holder for all her art supplies.

    I attached the belt to the edge of a child's table with hook-and-loop tape, and tuck the straps out of sight. Filled with crafts supplies . They are always within reach and yet not scattered all over.

    Repurposed pillboxes; these tiny containers hold dozens of eyelets and are easily embellished with a label of what's inside.

    Storing my die cut cut-outs....3 ring binders and using those plastic sleeves designed for slides, photos, or trading card storage are ideal for stashing die cuts separated from their packaging. The sleeves also work well for storing cut out pictures from old Christmas cards, Easter, etc that can be used on other cards.

    I have an extra large pegboard which hangs on the wall in front of my desk (when I sit at my desk the peg board is in front of me) and makes for easy reach for my craft supplies; scissors, rulers, my large tape runner gun, etc.

    All my buttons are color coordinated and stored in clear tubes with a button glued on top so when stored in a basket laying down I can see with ease the colored buttons are in which tube.

    Over the door shoe hanger for storage as well; holds stickers, embellishments, jewelry bags for those small punched out items,etc.

    Sorry for the length of my comment

  20. I put [by color too] all my embellies into the old medium size SU containers and in turn, I keep them in a basket, next to my desk. I use this basket at least every other day and I love it! I am also ignoring your clear rhinestone comment since I should [would of, could of] of done that years ago! :)

  21. Love your take on supplies and organization along with a bit of humor. My tip is for storing my dies, I use CD envelopes with windows and address labels with the names and then sort them alpha by brand and keep them in refrigerator storage bins, Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. Great post, Susan. I've read through all the comments and found some new storage ideas. Thanks, everyone!

    For my tip, I'll mention something no-one else has - storage for ribbon bought by the yard (as opposed to whole rolls of ribbon). I found the best inexpensive gizmo for this - the ribbon ring. Here's their website: . I bought one and now all my lengths of ribbon are hung by colour which makes it incredibly easy to see them all and find a match for my project. And it takes up very little space - I have it hanging on a hook in an out of the way spot in my craft area. It also looks incredibly pretty hanging there!

  23. This is not a new or unique idea. But I have all the stamp images in a binder. I think I learned this from you Susan. I make a xerox copy of each new stamp set before I take them apart. My older sets I am scanning. Each set of images is on a sheet of paper in a binder. I use SU sets, so they often have a mixture or images. This way I can flip through the binder to find just the right stamp, then go to the right place to find it. I have the sets organized by flowers, animals, music, holidays, greeting. Most are in large decorative boxes. Greetings are on a shelf right by my table since I use these all the time.

    Lots of good ideas from others here that I can try. I will try the magnetic sheets for my dies, which currently are just stacked in a cupboard, and so rarely get used.

    I like organizing almost as much as stamping. It's just fun to go through all the stuff and new ideas come to me as I do it.

  24. Love bling! My favorite organizational tip that I use is that I took an old wooden cassette tape holder, the kind they had on the wall in the 80s or so, and I use that now to put my stamp pads in. I also hung it about 6 inches above the level of my desk within hands reach. Its wonderful

  25. My cardstock scraps used to live in a shallow box on the floor. It was so difficult and unpleasant to rummage through that I didn't use the scraps as efficiently as I might have. At one of the "big box" craft stores I bought a cart with six mesh drawers and I sorted the scraps into it by color. Now, when I need "a piece of green," I can see what I have at a glance and retrieve it easily! ... I am going to read all of the other suggestions here to make the rest of my craft room work better! Thank you for all you share!

  26. I use a filing cabinet with labeled file folders for my CS. It keeps colors organized, scraps and all, and out of the light. How do ppl organize stamp sets?

  27. Love the one about the I will only purchase clear crystals from now on. I don't know about tossing the colors I have, but I do resolve to use them and not replace them. After buying lots of scrap lace, I've come to realize that lace is not me. I can count on one hand the lace embellished I made.
    It was one of the most difficult crafty decisions I came to, however, after competing a card, I do not keep any scrap pieces of paper that are less than 8 1/2 x 11 half sheets of card stock. It is tough and believe me I make all sorts of excuses not to, but I do it no matter what.

  28. I use a set of hanging file folders to sort all my cardstock scraps by color.
    I trim each scrap edge with my paper trimmer so that the edges are straight.
    Love your cards!

  29. This is long...sorry! But hopefully helpful...

    Samples of embossing folders and folders numbered - done!

    Steel dies on magnetic sheets in binder- done!

    Small embellishments (buttons, brads, grommets, bling) sorted by ROYGBIV and in a container for screws from Home Depot (like this one - done!

    Other ideas:
    Larger embellishments (flowers, embroidery floss, twine) sorted by ROYGBIV and in these containers I have used these dog treats for years and saved the containers. They fit perfectly on a shelf I had in my classroom for paperback books. I must have 40 containers on the shelf and another 10 in reserve!

    8.5" x 11" paper sorted by ROYGBIV and in 2 literature sorters like this

    12" x 12" paper sorted by ROYGBIV in these file cubes,default,pd.html?cgid=products-scrapbooking-storage.

    Stamp sets and digi stamps - each set is numbered. Copy made of each set placed numerically in a binder. Each stamp stamped and labelled on an index card placed in a file box by category.

    Scraps cut to 4.5" x 5.25" or other largest usable size, sorted by ROYGBIV into quart size bags and placed in photo storage boxes.

    Ink pads - sample of each color stamped, labelled and placed on sheets in a binder.

    Copic color charts

    1. Just FYI...I bought very few organizational / storage items. As a retired teacher, I just used items I had in my classroom.

      Many other items are organized in my craft room in these boxes:

  30. My best tip is keep things out in the open so you see it then you will use it. My latest thing is keeping a baggie on my table that I keep pieces of ribbon so I have them on hand to use on cards.
    I also like to keep my nestabilities in a notebook with magnets on a board to hold them.
    stamping sue

  31. Adopt a female toddler/young child for the day. You will quickly discover how fast glitter and bling can disappear :)
    Ok, seriously, my tip is to store ribbon in shoe boxes - recycled cardboard ones or plastic. I like the plastic because I can get a visual from the side as to what is in it. Ribbon is my hoard. Along with yarn (but that's a different craft)

  32. My favorite organizational tip is the "Snapware" container. It has 4 trays that snap together, and each tray holds three rows of washi tape. There's a handle on top so you can take washi tape with you to crops.

    I also like storing my stamps in 3-ring binders -- mounting them on cling mount. Saves a TON of space!!

  33. So I recently discovered the same thing as you did... duh, easier to color clear rhinestones and white pearls than buy all the colors. Also, why did it take me forever to keep my adhesive on the desk instead of the bottom container of 7 containers?? *smacks forehead*

  34. I use a lot of zip loc bags that I never zip. I have clear stamps of the same company all in their own bag and I alphabetize the bags in a Thirty one bag.

  35. I have just finished my "new" SU storage - hard work ;-) I scanned all sets I have and store the printouts in two binders - one for the clear sets and one for the wood mount sets. Then I re-labeled the clear boxes of thewood mount stamps. The small sticker of SU was nearly unreadable so I wrote all set names in word and print them on white paper in a 18p fonts. The wood mount sets are stored in two IKEA Benno CD racks.

    Also, I made an excel sheet with the german/english names of the SU sets. At the SCS gallery the german names aren't listed, so if I need some ideas for a special set I always need to remember the english name first (not that easy). Now I can just take a look in my excel sheet and find the english name right beside the german one...

  36. I have no tips for organizing as it seems the little gremlins consistently come and mess up my space. It always looks like the pits which is alright I guess because my space is a pit in the basement. There isn't any room to set up traps to catch those little buggers....but I am still smiling. My DH is rolling his eyes at me all the time.
    hugs mf

  37. I found that as I am working, I tend to pile up the extraneous materials I take out. I might make several images of stamps, but only actually complete one card. So then I have little piles all over my studio. My solution was to get two Iris 12x12 boxes, and put the pile in them. Now when I need to make some cards, I go to one of the boxes and tell myself I am going to make at least 3 cards from the materials in this box. It is working pretty well for me, and I am discovering some ideas that I really liked and now am actually completing.

  38. My organizational tip is to keep a file folder with cardstock I'm using for my current card (instead of having all my cardstock out while putting together my card). This is important, because I have 2 small children, and don't always complete my card in one sitting.

  39. As I was reading all the positive comments, I thought of several negative ways I store things that I don't recommend to anyone at anytime. One: Don't come home with your new purchases or items from a class and just throw them in a box saying you will get to them later. Doesn't happen and they just get buried deeper. Two: Years ago I started buying large (20x28 or larger) sheets of paper and wanted to keep them whole for those projects requiring large sheets. I ended up buying the largest box I could find that they fit it (12x36x30) and having large sheets of poster board cut to hold by subject, kind of paper, etc. It works for storage but not for use. The papers sit there totally unused for years because it is almost impossible to get out an individual paper. Not a good idea. Either cut into smaller sizes or don't buy. Three: Filing pages from magazines or class projects or other instructions by throwing in a box in anticipation of using. Never get sorted. Attract silverfish :)))). Create box piles in your room. Not attractive. So don't do what I do.
    On the positive side, I have many small embellishment items sorted by type in plastic boxes and for the most part it works as does my filing cabinet of 8 1/2x11 and 12x12 papers sorted by color or type in a file cabinet. Stamps by subject work stored in plastic file drawers except they get too full. But some things do work. I do have a question: Why do all those wonderful storage containers we all buy are never just the right size, hold the items well, or work just the way we dream they will?

  40. I really love how you have a knack to get folks talking and sharing, Susan! Thank you! My tip is how I maximize my wood stamp storage in my 6 drawer Iris carts...the ones where each drawer is about 4 inches high. I sort all my wooden stamps by, birthday, thank you, baby, etc. I also purchase those clear acrylic photo box frames to use as "trays". In each drawer, where necessary, I have one layer of stamps on the 'floor' of the drawer, and then add a second, easily removable layer in a box frame. Keeps each drawer very organized and not at all jumbled, and all stamps very easily accessible!

  41. I haven't been by to visit lately but I definitely had to read this post. I have to tell you this story. My bro started using cocaine along with his friends, they later switched to smoking crack, and later injecting it. Years of sobriety later he told me a story which really stuck to me. At every phase of using cocaine and crack he and his friends could "justify" their usage by pointing out those worse off. When they snorted cocaine at parties at least they weren't like those who did for no reason. When they did it for no reason at least they didn't have to do it to get out of bed. When they had to do it get out of bed at least they weren't like those people who smoked ghetto crack and on and on it went until they injecting and hey at least they weren't having to shoot in to their neck because they screwed up all their other veins. Several of the people in that group of friends bailed out at each step of the way, my brother left before he began to inject. Each time people left they would be badgered unmercifully by those still using. After all those still using didn't want to be shown up by those who could and did quit. Those who quit were shocked that they constantly had to justify their quitting and were constantly tempted by those still using. My brother actually moved away because of it. Paper crafting is not as destructive as using illegal drugs, but oh my gosh... I really feel I know what my brother was talking about as I downsize and purge my stash. Many of my things are in good condition or unused so I take them to my stamp club to either give away or sell. You cannot believe how badgered I am by my fellow crafters. I'm constantly having to justify why I want less, how I'm more creative with less, how I don't want to take up space with stuff I'm not going to use, etc. It is to the point now that I have actually thrown out useable stuff or taken it to a thrift store rather than get pestered by these people who are supposed to be my friends. I think they think I'm trying to make them look bad. And I'm not! I just want to be comfortable in my own home and be happy with my hobby. Wow! Thanks for letting me share that and kudos to you and all those other ladies out there (and up there^) who have decided that more is too much!!!!!!!!

  42. Wow, Judy--

    No disrespect meant, but your words remind me of a term I learned years ago: toxic friends. Best wishes to you on doing right for yourself,




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