Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tip - Inventory of Supplies

This has been one of the most helpful things that I've come up with for myself anyway. I carry it with me in my purse all the time. It is an index card notebook that was originally purchased for my genealogy research and I decided that it would work perfect for this. Now if I'm in a store, especially good when there is a sale, then I have a list of what I have, so I don't duplicate any purchases.

I have kept the file, just in case anything were to ever happen to the notebook, but have also put my cell phone number inside it just in case I were to leave the notebook laying anywhere by accident. But within Word, I was able to make tabs for every aspect of my artistic type things using the table format. This is where a little obvious logic plays in. Make a two-row table with five-columns. The 2nd row will be merged together and sized at 3" x 5" (the size of the index card). The five columns, in the first row, should be one-inch each. Now, whether that is the first row or the second row, is up to the individual, just make sure one is five-columns, one-inch each and the other is merged together and is 3" x 5". Think about which direction you want your tabs to face. If you do the 1st row as your tabs, they will be printed facing into the notebook; 2nd row will face outwards. If you do a border line through the table with a light grey/silver color - it will give you a nice guide to cut with. Remember, you only do one tab on each table. The next one, you would do the second tab and so on until you get all of your tabs done. A couple can be printed on one sheet of cardstock. Margins can be minimized since they don't matter in this case anyway so you can maximize use of the sheet. Click here for Dividers file in Microsoft Word format.

I know I'm going to have to add more tabs as I get into the project, but so far I've got the following tabs in my notebook:

  • Beading
  • Books (helps to remember what you checked out from the library or actually purchased)
  • CDs
  • Cricut
  • Cuttlebug
  • DVDs
  • General Crafts
  • Magazines (because some stores have special sales on past issues and it helps to know what you have)
  • MCPT
  • Knitting
  • Polymer Clay
  • Refills (pens, printer inks, p-touch, etc)
  • Scrapbooking
  • Stamping
  • Stencils
  • Software

Word has a page setup for the Index Card size. I've set up a fiile for each topic in my notebook so I can keep a running file going of these. If you've already printed off some of the cards in the file, just make sure to change the printer properties to only print the ones you need. I've put instructions for some projects, so I can refer back in case I see something that might work in place of something else. Just make sure that the print isn't so small that you can't read it! You can test on a plain sheet of paper, so as not to waste the cards, and see which way the print feeds the cards (if they're pre-punched). Also keeping a card with a MCPT reference chart so I'll know what colors I have available at home - works the same with paints. (I also have a larger chart that I keep with my MCPT materials, so I can reference it - will put another post with close-up photos of those and details on the set-up).

I've been working for a while on getting all of my stamps into an 8½" x 11" notebook and hopefully (fingers crossed) I'm also going to be able to reduce those down to the index card size for the little notebook. I would just put the names and numbers of those, but sometimes it helps to actually see the image in case it's similar to another. It's all a personal preference. Some manufacturers have photos of their items on the websites, but sometimes it's faster to just lay things out and take digital photos yourself to add to the book and then you get what you want. I've actually used both. It's still a work in progress and obviously will always be since I'll obviously purchase more and as I use things up. It'll just get easier when I've got the basic of it done and only have to add things here and there.

The notebooks can be found at Wal-Mart for less than $4 and I had already purchased many packs of index cards when I found them on sale. Best to do it when they have back-to-school sales. I've gotten some packs for as little as 10 cents and 33 cents for 100 it's really affordable.

Tip - Shopping Lists in a Photo Book

I gave new life to an old photo book - which I rarely use anyway because of too many photos! These things are easy to find at thrift or dollar stores. I started out with one cover and then changed it to one I designed with the Cricut. The lettering was from Alphalicious and then the scrolls from Wedding Solutions - using two colors of paper and then just linking them together before sending it through the Xyron and adhering them to the black cardstock. The covers are a bit larger than the 4" x 6" photo pages, so measure the cover they have in there before creating your own.

For the inside, I created a base for a 4" x 6" card (to make it cheaper, I just cut down cardstock to the proper size with a paper cutter and saved the scraps for other projects) and just changed the location name with each print. Then on another word file, I created a sheet with 4" x 4" blocks of checklists for inserting into each page. Those are printed on standard copy paper to save on the cardstock. After I fill up one checklist, then I toss it into recycle and put in another insert. Helps if you can get it worked out to print the paper two-sided as well. Just keep your margins evened up for it to work. Obviously, by the photo, I put any current store coupons I may have on the corresponding page.

After I came up with my frequented store list - some are obviously lumped into one such as "Home Improv" (ie Lowes, Home Depot) to save some space. I do still have some empty pages, but lumping those type stores together helped with that. I didn't lump my craft stores together because I'm sometimes more specific with what I want from where. Also at the end, I created an index for the front with an alphabetical list (which they are in the book alphabetically as well) for a quick reference to see what stores I have in the book.

This has been so much easier than having a list or multiple lists just stuck everywhere. Plus I can pull out the book whenever I think of something that I want to get the next time I'm at a particular store! Especially after reading the Sunday ads.

Tip - MCPT Color Chart / Paint

This was briefly mentioned in my post about my little index card notebook. After creating a reference card for my MCPT colors, I realized that it would be helpful to have with my supplies to see what the color would actually look like after blending with the mineral spirits on a larger scale. So I created the 8½" x 11" sheet above.
I utilized the Microsoft Word table feature, and of course Excel could be used in the same manner. Because my pencils didn't have "color names" like a box of Crayola's, I ended up just using a number for each block above where I was going to place the color. Then I created two rows below that - the first more shallow than the second. The first I put a deep color and then the second was just for the blended color with the mineral spirits. I've only been doing this for three months now, so I haven't gotten into mixing colors yet. But once I do, I have plans of doing a similar reference chart for that. Obviously starting off with handwritten notes and then dressing it up a little.
This could be really helpful if you purchase your colors in singles. I may eventually P-Touch my pencils though because the numbers are a little hard to see even though I keep them in their container in numerical order. I think the P-Touch could just make it a faster reference. Would also be good if you paint and have a large inventory of paints for the large scale and the portable book.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Card: Little Girl with Butterflies

It's my day to post all of my Magic Colored Pencil Technique challenge cards. Taylor (the kitten) found that, if he times it just right, my workboard is a good place to sleep - while I'm working! So I had to rush some of them up!

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock; Momenta Born To Be Wild Girl Cardstock
  • Punch: Martha Stewart Classic Butterfly
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Floral Fantasy
  • Ribbon: Berwick Offray 1/8"/3mm Lavender

Card - Hedgehog on Bicycle - Party Invitation

I didn't really care for this one. I created one design that I didn't really like, but hated to waste the paper completely, so I utilized the paper I'd already done and covered over what I didn't like.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock and Paper
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Bloom Dots
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk Pad - Chesnut Roan
  • Microsoft Word: StamPete

Card - Family - Sheep/Lamb

I went through several trials with this one and finally decided on this color scheme. The coloring turned out to be the easy part! I used a q-tip to distress the edges of the "Family" scalloped circle with the same color as the "Family" stamp.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Paper; Colorbok Cards
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Border): Frills
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk - Chesnut Roan

Card - May Your Day Bubble Over With Fun

I'm not sure why I did a purple monkey thing, but I just liked them that way. I may add another close-up photo later on since the Tiny Bubbles emboss didn't show up as well on here. May do that later in the week when I have more time.
Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Paper
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Tiny Bubbles
  • Martha Stewart Circle Cutter

Card - Easter Bunnies with Eggs

These bunnies were just too cute. Shown is the front as well as a portion of the inside.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock; Momenta Born To Be Wild Girl Cardstock
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Border): Frills
  • Stamp: "Happy Easter" Marcella by K 137028 Seasonal Stamps