Are your stencils out of control?

Hi Friends! Last weekend I came up with a new and better way to store my stencils and it cost less than $10. Have a look:

It was really just an update of this method but I love how I can grab all of my messy stencils and take them wherever I want to work. My other templates (tracing and cutting ones) live in a binder I can flip through but for the messy ones it does the trick.

Here are the categories I have my stencils sorted in:

  • Small stencils (6″x6″ and smaller in the front of the divider so I can see them from the outside)
  • 12″x12″ background stencils-store bought
  • 12″x12″ background stencils-handmade
  • 8.5″x11″ stencil backgrounds
  • DCWV brand 12″x12″ stencils
  • Oriental Trading 12″x12″ stencils
    *All others are 8.5″x11″
  • Basic Shapes
  • Nature
  • Borders/Designs
  • Occasion

The only ones that do not work in the Darice Spectrafile are my large decor and homemade hot glue stencils. I hope this gives you some ideas to corral your stencil stash. Happy crafting!

Quick Tip: Fetch those buttons!

Hi Friends! I hope you enjoyed scrapbook week while I was on vacation! I admit this is a bit of a stretch for a scrapbooking video but we all use buttons on pages right? Here is a quick tip for dealing with them, beads too!

Here is the beaded stone tutorial I mentioned in the video.

I will soon be back online reading though the comments you have left during the week (My favorite!) I am wondering, did you get any scrapbooking done this week? Have you taken so  great summer photos? Let me know in the comments and til next time happy crafting!

2014 Studio Tour!

Howdy folks! I love to see where other people create, from creative closets to entire rooms devoted to their art I just love to look. It is fun to see how other people store their supplies and I always come out with an idea or two. As an artist who works in many media I have a lot of stuff, add to that I am an art teacher and you get more stuff. My workroom (not really a room but a corner of my basement) is a supply closet as well as a work area. Everything, almost, is modular and I end up moving it around quite a bit as my needs change. Here is how it is looking right now:

I find that the longer I am in a space the less drastic my reorganization gets because I know how I work best. If something isn’t right I change it. Craft rooms are not stagnant if they are being used because you will acquire more stuff, use up stuff, gain interests, and lose interests. I’m not a fan of getting rid of good craft supplies. Most items can be used again in different ways. Stamps and patterned paper get discontinued but that does not mean they expire and are no longer good so why toss them? Even if you dislike the pattern, guess what, the other side is probably white. Why get rid of your old decorator chalk to buy new chalk from a more trendy company? It makes no sense. Sometimes you will find something that really is not for you, you tried it, did not like it and have no plans to ever use it again, OK give it to someone who can use it but the other stuff that you bought because you loved it, keep it, everything comes back around or don’t buy the trendy stuff, get basic stuff like solid color papers and paints, pencils and inks and make your own.  If you find that you are buying more stuff than you can possibly ever use (which I think is a great deal of us) make a plan to use it. I feel bad when I buy something and don’t use it, it does not happen often but when it does I will grab that supply and dive in. You will get rid of the guilt of just owning it and get to the pleasure of using it. We buy supplies with the optimistic attitude of what we will make with it. When we don’t use it we feel like we have abandoned our dreams and wasted money, we feel like a failure. When you use the supply you will get a better feeling than a “shopper’s high” you will get a “crafter’s high” and feel so good that you used what you bought. You bought it because you liked it so use it!

I don’t know how I got on that philosophical tangent LOL! I noticed when I was watching the video back that I forgot to mention a couple of things:

  • The bird-cages hanging from the ceiling hold lace trim
  • The mail sorter on the end of my counter near “die cut land” holds glass rods for bead making
  • The big honking shelf behind me as I walk over to my bead storage area is my wood-mounted rubber stamp shelf.

If there was anything else you were wondering about in my room just leave a comment and I will explain about it:) Have a great “Superbowl Sunday” and til next time happy crafting!

Fabulous DIY Colored Pencil Storage!

Hello friends! I recently mentioned that I had put all of my pastel pencils, watercolor crayons and colored pencils back in the tins they came in. They were previously in a pen rack I picked up at a scrapbook store for $5 when it was closing and I liked having them all out within reach but I got a really nice bar stool from my sister for Christmas so now I like to sit at my high table and work and I can place the tins on my shelf behind me, I have a heater under the table as I explained in my craftroom winter mode video.  Also I wanted them to be portable in case I want work elsewhere, like say upstairs by the fire.  All of my pencils had tins except for my Prismacolors, I got my first set of 60 when I was 5 (my art teacher insisted) and replaced used up ones through the years then got a 144 set 15 years ago and as they would get used up I’d replace them as well. I’d say I have about 175 pencils. So I made a plan and asked my hubby to make it:

DCF 1.0

Want to see it in action, have a look:

Now, I’m not a woodworker but I did measure my box and noted the sizes and materials for you here, I hope it is helpful, if the measurements are odd it could be due to sanding or using up what was on hand.  The removable dividers are 1/4″ plywood while the top and bottom are 1/4″ Masonite, I’m pretty sure you could use all plywood or all Masonite.  I love the Masonite for the lid because it make a really great surface to color on, talk about portable!

DCF 1.0

Use this a guide to design your own. I have some room to grow but if I was going to travel with this I’d put some bubble wrap in ant empty spaces so the pencils would not bounce around in there. Tomorrow I will share a tour of my craft room so you can see how I store other stuff! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

How I Store my Yarn Stash & Make a Center-pull Ball!

Happy Sunday friends! It is snowing this morning Maine, teeny tiny little flake that melt as soon as they touch the ground but it’s snow all the same! It really makes me want to bust out the winter crafts like knitting and crochet. I was getting a bit aggravated with the snarl of yarn that was forming in my travel bag and home storage rack so I spent some quality time this week untangling, sorting and winding the mess into submission. I thought you might want some yarn storage tips too so here is a quick video on how I store my yarn and I’ll show you what is in my yarn tote I bring with me to class.

If you are a beginner you might want to keep a list of the sizes of knitting needles and hooks you own, that way if you happen upon a sale you can pick a few needles and not duplicate. I have to say I think the Denise interchangeable knitting needles (while a bit pricey) are a great investment because you get every size from 5-15 in strait or circular needles and it is so compact. I saw on their website that they have a crochet set too…I know what I am asking for for Christmas! After I posed my yarn storage video I had a couple of comments from savvy knitters who did not know how to make a center pull ball so I made a quick tutorial for that too. Winding those loose floppy skeins of wool into neat tidy (and useful-non rolling) balls is a space saver and makes your yarn stash look so pretty! I am still in the process of winding loose balls but it is a good project to pick away at when I am not feeling inspired. :D

I used to store my yarn in metal grid cubes, the trouble with that is I could not see what was buried in the back. By using these shallow baskets on the upcycled library paperback rack I have all my yarn visible and within reach. You might not have an old paperback rack kicking around but see what you do have and make it work! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Ask a Crafter 13!

Howdy folks! It is Wednesday and time for What’s on your Workdesk Wednesday! I wasn’t going to WOYWW this week but when I got back from walking the dog this morning I had 2 big boxes on my porch from Papermart! Also on my desk is an ATG gun and refills that my lovely YouTube friend Valerie sent me! Thank you so much Val, I hope I can figure out how to use it!

workdesk

I am planning to go to town and get some Christmas shopping done today but first I had to unbox all of that crafty goodness, speaking of Christmas you should check Papermart’s prices, you will get WAY more bang for your buck for your crafting and wrapping!

workdesk2

It is figuratively a ton of wonderful goodies from Papermart and you will see this stuff in action in tutorials over the next 6 months. My first planned tutorial is a Thanksgiving centerpiece, be sure to keep an eye out for that!

OK, now down to business, it’s time for this weeks Ask a Crafter! I am so glad to have Lorraine as my co-host again this week, she is a riot! Let’s find out what my viewers and readers asked this week shall we? Oh, and if you have a question for next weeks episode you can leave it in the comments section.

BTW, I did make a lighthouse painting tutorial and I’ll post it on my blog this weekend or if the suspense is killing you it’s on my youtube channel. That’s all for today! Wish me luck Christmas shopping and til next time happy crafting!

Kid’s Craft! Make Newspaper Baskets!

Howdy Friends! Today I have a craft for the kids to do using recycled materials to make something really useful:

basket1

For this project you will need:

newspapers

white glue

think cardboard (like a cereal box)

a pencil

clothespins

Something round to trace like a plate

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make a rolled newspaper basket:

Tip! If you want to make this project with a bunch of children you can use hot glue and make the basket bases (the cardboard with the spokes) ahead of time! Here is a recap of the steps:

  1. Cut the newspaper pages in half.
  2. Roll the newspaper using a pencil as a guide and secure the ends with glue.
  3. Trace a plate on cardboard 2 times and cut out.
  4. Glue an odd number or rolled newspaper “spokes” to the cardboard. Add the other cardboard piece on top and place a book on top to weigh it down as it dries OR have an adult hot glue it for you.
  5. Weave the remaining newspaper tubes around the spokes. Use a bit of white clue each time you add a new newspaper and clip it with a clothespin to hold it in place as it dries.
  6. Finish your basket by painting it with acrylic paint, spray paint or just seal it with a layer of glue or Mod-Podge.

Bonus ideas! You can use wrapping paper, magazines and comics to make really cool looking baskets! You can easily make a square, rectangle or heart shaped basket using the same technique, just cut your cardboard in the shape you would like your basket. Bold shapes with few details are best!

Parents & Teachers: If you try this project with your kids please let me know how it turns out. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you! Happy crafting!

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