So - I started another post with more pics of cards that I made for the Hope You Can Cling To challenges, but I never finished it or posted it and I want to share something else first, so there's that... After the end of the card-making marathon (I finished 31 of the 40 challenges - a personal best), I needed to address an issue that has been on the back burner for a bit. It was a "completion" of sorts to an earlier project. The earlier project was this:
What you are looking at (sorry about the weird lighting - afternoon sun through mini blinds on a file box under a desk) is all of my cardstock. I have each color like this:
Whole sheets and scraps together in a regular page protector... I cut off the part that has holes for the binder to make tabs, alternating left and right, and wrote the manufacturer and color name on there with a Sharpie. You're looking at two of them stacked to show how the tabs alternate. That little circle sticker that says "OF1" means that I have another page protector in my "overflow" box, and that there is only ONE more of those (I have a couple of colors that there are two or three, and they are noted that way on the sticker).
I have my Recollections 110# white cardstock (which I use for card bases) and my Georgia Pacific white cardstock (for stamping and layering) at the very front, and they are not in page protectors (although the matching scraps are). I also use Stampin'Up! Naturals Ivory quite a bit, so it's at the front, too. The colors are arranged in ROYGBIV order, with neutrals at the back. When I need a color, I just turn the protector upright (portrait orientation), take what I need, put back what doesn't get used, then turn it back to its file position (landscape orientation). I have as many page protectors as will fit in a hanging file folder, and all of them hanging in order in the file box.
I obviously have a lot of colors. I already had some Close To My Heart colors from a long time ago when I was a consultant (plus a few that I've purchased since), and I have the full current selection of Stampin'Up! cardstock, plus some retired colors. I was recently enabled into acquiring a whole slew of Recollections brand (Michael's) cardstocks, and I also bought a "Holiday Pack" of Paper Studio cardstock to match the Christmas patterned papers I'd bought. I got really tired of trying to find the best one to match my project by plowing through all of the folders (before this project they were by manufacturer), so I took a cue from Jennifer McGuire (she used hers for ink swatches) and others and did this:
These are pages designed for coin collectors to house their treasures, and each pocket is 2" square. I cut 1 3/4" squares of every single color I own and labeled each one with manufacturer and color, then slid them into the pockets in the same ROYGBIV order as my file box. It may look like it's not exactly that way, but there's a method here. I know how Odd Brain works, and organize accordingly, lol. Here's a little closer look so you can see that I just wrote the color right on the sample, and mixed up all of the manufacturers:
Now I can find any color I want very, very quickly, I have a way to corral the scraps, and I can compare cardstock colors to patterned papers without a lot of bother, since they're all right there. On to the "next thing" referred to in my title...
I have made a wonderful new friend here in Las Vegas that I first got acquainted with on Splitcoast. Her name is Amber and she's probably THE most generous person on the planet, and a just generally nice one, to boot! She has "gifted" me SO MUCH PRETTY PAPER that I can't keep track of all of it! Seriously - I have EIGHT Iris cases and one large-ish file box now, in addition to the smaller file box that I already had! I have a pretty good memory, but I can't keep THAT MUCH in my Odd Brain... What to do?
Being the organizational freak that I am, I did the following:
- Put all of the papers in stacks by manufacturer
- Separate "full sheet" papers (you know the kind - they're usually designed specifically for scrapbooks and you can't really cut them up into smaller pieces until you determine which piece you want)
- Separate all of the matching sticker sheets and sheets that have have tags or cards or whatever
- Separate all of the holiday papers by holiday
THEN - I got "trading card" collector's pages, which have nine pockets per page. Trading cards (and ATCs) are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" high, so I cut a 2 1/2" wide by 1 3/4" high square off of one corner of EVERY SINGLE 12" x 12" paper that I have! My rationale went like this: I am a cardmaker. I sometimes/never need a 12" piece for anything. I do have a few dies that require 12" length, but nowhere near that in width - or vice versa. I have multiple sheets of most designs/patterns. Will I really miss that little rectangle? No - no, I will not. The rest of the story is that there is no way in you-know-where that I will dig through eight Iris cases and a file box to find a pretty piece of paper, so I wasn't using them. I took my little rectangles and put them in the pockets:
The two pages above are some of my (now) extensive collection of gorgeous Authentique papers (I told you Amber was generous). Each pocket has the front and back of the same two-sided paper, where that applies. In other instances, where the papers are single-sided, I just put them with a similar color or style within that manufacturer. I did separate out my Stampin'Up! papers and keep the collections together:
The one sticker identifies which collection it is, the other notes which colors of cardstock coordinate with that collection. Some of my papers are relatively new, some are nearly ancient. I don't really care too much what's "trendy" - I just like what I like! I also did holidays separately. Here's a shot of some Halloween papers:
I have all of the "one pagers" and sticker sheets in one of the Iris cases, which I will still have to dig through if/when I want/need something. ONE, I can deal with... The 12" file box now contains all of the papers that I have smaller collections of. Eventually I will have them in hanging file folders, appropriately labelled, but for now they're just identified with a Post It tab on the first paper for that manufacturer (in alphabetical order, of course). The other Iris cases are labelled with what is in them, so I can see instantly which one I need to grab to find the paper I'm looking for. The two cases that house the Christmas papers are red instead of clear - I thought it was appropriate...
I do have some 6" square papers and some 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" "mat stacks", as well, but I'm not willing to sacrifice portions of those, so I just keep them together and dig through when needed:
Some of them are in cut-down file folders, others are just in there. At some point I'll get motivated enough to cut down folders for the rest, but I'm kind of fried on paper organization right now... I did clean things up a bit by putting all of the scraps into clear envelopes and tucking them in with the appropriate collection:
There are a few other random things in this box, as well, like cut-down Kleenex boxes (there are some really cool patterns on some of them!) and the covers of some photo albums that I cut apart for my stamp storage. Free is a great price for pretty patterned cardstock, wouldn't you say?
Well, alrighty then! I'm pretty much thinking that I've rambled on for waaaay too long, and I'm going to stop now! Hopefully there is something helpful in this overly-long, photo-heavy post. Happy Hump Day, and thanks for stopping by!