With all of the classes I’ve taken over the last several months, one tip that I’ve gotten from the experts teaching the classes is that they all have little systems in place to keep them organized and to inspire their crafting.
I noticed that many of them had ink swatches that they had created for each color and brand of ink that they had. They had charts filled with marker colors that they showed how each marker tip colored and how it blended. The same was true for colored pencils, watercolors and ink pads. I found it interesting that many of the instructors had these swatches for different brands of papers for each of the inks as well. They clearly spent a lot of time experimenting to find what worked best and how their tools varied by combining them in different ways.
I’ve started my own systems for doing the same thing. I’m just starting by keeping track of what colors I have on a chart that I can pull out to use for color selection and keeping track when I go to place an order. Don’t you just hate it when you buy the same item twice? I need my charts to keep track of what I have as I add to my tools and supplies.
Most companies have charts that you can print from their websites to use for just this purpose. If you put card stock in your printer, then when you add the colors on to the paper you will see exactly how they behave on the card stock you normally use.
Altenew has color charts and blank charts for both their Artist markers and for their ink pads. Spectrum Noir has a color chart for their markers that you can print and fill in. It’s nice to have that color reference chart when you are creating a project.
Many of the instructors talked about finding inspiration and ways they sparked their creativity on those days that they couldn’t find their mojo. Many of them pulled out charts just like these to use when selecting their colors for a project. Several instructors used color wheels. You can purchase a color wheel for just a few dollars or you can Google one on your computer or phone. It is pretty convenient to use when your trying to decide on a color scheme and nothing is sparking your interest.
One instructor recommended dark chocolate. She finds that very inspiring when she has a lot of projects to create and needs to get her creative juices flowing. I’m with her on that…one wonderful piece of chocolate really can get you started!
As I’ve been taking my classes and using new techniques and tools, I’ve discovered that parts of my craft studio were not working as well as I needed them to anymore. I’ve spend a few minutes each day shifting a few things around to make my space functional. I haven’t added any new pieces, but I’m using my storage pieces in a more effective way for the materials I find myself reaching for more often.
I completely changed around my paper and stamp storage. I’ve added space for my watercoloring materials along with the new inking materials I’ve been playing with as well.
I hardly ever use color card stocks anymore, but I’m going through other kinds of papers like watercolor papers, Bristol paper, and vellum. I also have a larger variety of white card stocks to chose from now as well.
The area in the picture is my stamp and paper storage behind my desk. The stamps I use now are in the clear plastic bins where you see the blue dividers. I’ve actually got more tools stored in my paper sorters now so that I can grab my colored pencils or my markers more easily.
As you may have guessed from other photos that I’ve shared of my craft room storage, I’m not a put it in a cabinet and close the doors kind of gal. Once something goes into a cabinet, I forget I have it. I need stuff in my face so I see it and remember to use it.
I purchased a set of Spectrum Noir alcohol markers over a year ago and rarely used them because they were stored in a nice case in a cabinet. Now I use the marker shelves from Stamp-n-Storage and I use those markers much more often now. I’ve also set a goal to color a little each day to practice and improve my skills.
I actually moved my Stampin’ Up! ink pads off my desk and put them behind me. Now I have my Altenew and Catherine Pooler inks right on my desk and those are now my new go to inks. I LOVE them.
Whatever kind of crafting you do, you need a system to organize your supplies that actually functions for you.
A friend of mine once told me that organizing shouldn’t be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. If you have to move a bunch of stuff around to get to something, you will never use that thing in the back. It’s too much effort to get to. I’ve kept that advice in mind as I’ve organized my house over the last year. My cabinets are not cluttered and things are not piled in front of other things.
I bought pretty wood and metal baskets to contain things (like that plastic stuff my husband likes to carry his leftovers for lunch in every single day). I can reach in any cabinet or drawer and get the item I need without moving a bunch of stuff. I love that.
My craft room is like that too. I use my little dollar store bins to contain things and they sit right out where I can see them. My ink mists are all in one plastic container that I can grab and use and the box for spraying them is in the drawer below.
If this system does not work, I will move stuff around until I find what does. It’s a continuously evolving project. Somehow when I’m working on reorganizing a section of my craft studio, I still find that relaxing. I actually always have a plan that I’ve been mulling over before I move things around. I also only do one small section at a time. After the fiasco of moving our entire house a year ago, I will never do that again!!! One corner at a time over a few days gets the job done and I end up not being stressed and sore.
So what is working for you in your craft room and what do you need to work on to make it more functional? Maybe grab a chocolate and give it some thought!
Thank you for stopping by! Remember to embrace the imperfections. Organizing is a never ending project!