Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thank-You Gift Set and More on Embellishment Storage

In a few weeks I'm going to Pittsburg for the Stephen Ministry Leadership Training Course. This trip was made possible by my church (they're paying the bill), my Stephen Ministry group (they're encouraging me), and my sister-in-law (who's watching my kids).

My sister-in-law Angela, in fact, got the whole ball rolling for me to attend this year. I'd originally planned on going in either 2015 or 2016, assuming by then my boys have quit bickering enough for me to trust them not to kill each other during the 40 hours of the week that George will be at work. When I mentioned this to Angela last year, she said she would watch them and that I should go in 2014.

Her offer made this trip possible, and I'm so very grateful.

Obviously, I must put together something to thank her for this enormous gift she's giving me. As a small part of her OMGosh, how-can-I-ever-thank-you? gift, I made this card set. It will be included in a basket full of stuff expressing my gratitude...a basket that will include at least three bottles of wine to be consumed during her stay so she doesn't kill the bickering Bickersons.

Despite the bickering, I really do like them.

Anyway, the set includes three cards of each color, with coordinating envelopes.

The darling tiny rhinestone brads for the flower centers have been in my stash for years. It was so much fun to use them for such a special gift! Also, note that the white-on-white layering was necessary to hide the brad butts (or legs, as my friend Leslie insists on calling them...but butts is more fun to say).

Using brads on one-layer cards is simply not done by obsessive-compulsive stampers.

Now, for a little more discussion of embellishment storage. Reader Janeen asked what type of container I use to store embellishments by color. Long-time readers might remember this picture from a long-ago post on my craft room in our old house.

I store embellishments and other crafting supplies in 12"x12" storage drawers by color. My current set-up is slightly different from what's shown in this picture, but the idea is the same.

I now have two drawers for neutral embellishments (white, gray, black, cream, brown) and single drawers for blue/violet, green, yellow/orange, red/pink, and metallic. Each drawer includes all the little embellishments for specific colors, plus things like Sakura Stardust pens, Stickles, flock, thread, bling, pearls, glitter, and Smooch. This arrangement helps me enormously because when a card needs a little something, I pull out the drawer or drawers for corresponding colors and get ideas...often that I never would have thought of if the supplies were not organized they way they are.

I combined some colors into a single drawer simply because I've used down my stash enough that they fit well together. This system has really helped me see which embellishments I actually enjoy using and which ones just get hoarded. Over the years since this picture was taken, many of the hoarded supplies have been purged.

The whole system is extraordinarily efficient, and as I said in yesterday's post, it's all thanks to Stacy Julian and her book Big Picture Scrapbooking

It changed my life.

Well, at least my crafting life.

Give it a go if you haven't already. It really is a very sensible plan.

If you made it this far, you might also like to know that I'm currently at my sister's house in Maryland getting some quality time with my niece, nephews, sister, brother-in-law, and mother. Yay! But if you've emailed in the past four or five days, I probably haven't answered you. I'm sorry. I'll try to get back with you when the boys and I get home late this week. In the meantime, please pray for George, who doesn't get to be with us. He's got to work while we play.

Poor George!

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Blooms II, Clear and Simple Stamps (sentiment, discontinued)
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestone brads, dimensionals


  1. Love the cards Susan, and I know your sister-in-law will too. Or maybe the wine first!! Anyway, we are so lucky to be surrounded by supportive and thoughtful people, enjoy your time away.

  2. A perfect example of why clean and simple is so stunning. The potential to use little images in sets is truly limitless.

    I love how minds work. I break up some stamp sets into categories like "birds, bugs, and butterflies". I found 12x12 clear plastic boxes that an insert fits into, and fill the compartments by category: butterflies, birds, hearts, etc. for ephemera or extra die cuts I make with my Cuttlebug. I find all kinds of things I forgot I had this way.

    Susan, you are a gem--with a George instead of a brad.

  3. Such a great post! I especially enjoyed the "Bickerson" part. My mom used to say that about my daughters. She called them the Bickerson twins. Now they are grown up with kids of their own. One of the "twins" asked me in frustration, "Did we ever bicker like this?" With a sense of smug satisfaction about payback, I remind her of what her grandma used to say. It will come to you one day, Susan. Just smile!!

  4. your card popped upon my Feedly and I thought to myself oh my goodness that reminds me of my first card I ever made! Of course mine wasn't near as elegant but that daisy stamp I have die cut instead with a bit of bling in the middle! What a blast from the past.

  5. Lovely cards - the panel and bling are perfect. I really like the colors. Your storage rocks :)

  6. great set....You are so lucky to have storage.....I have a terrible space.

  7. Hmmm, interesting. I really do not feel compelled to organize my embellishments by color. I do organize my cardstock in a rainbow, and the same for inks and ribbon, but when I'm looking for an embellishment, I don't usually know what color it will end up being. I generally try at least 3 different colors before deciding which one looks the best

  8. Love the cards and the organize-by-color tip.

    Just a few tips before your trip: I spent four years in Pittsburgh for medical training and they are very proud of their retained final "h". If you need a rubber band, ask for a gum band. Say yinz for ya'll. If someone says you can get something at the Gin Iggle, that's the Giant Eagle grocery store. As a Deep South girl, I have a very soft spot in my heart for Pittsburgh's idiosyncrasies.

    1. Thanks for the "h" lesson. Never noticed! Sounds like people in Pittsburgh really enjoy playing with the language. Reminds me of my very southern grandmother!


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