If you’re getting serious about making art from paper, it’s important to have good supplies.  I have so many that I can’t do without, but these are some of my top picks:

1.  Bone Folder

2.  Corner Punch

3.  Long Ruler (18 inches is great!)

4.  Paper Awl

5.  Handmade Paper

6.  Scrap Paper

7.  Paper Trimmer

8.  Masking Tape

9.  Penknife

10.  Cardstock


Spring has sprung and your craft space needs to be updated!  Here are some tips to make your space fresh, personalized and fun!

Start with a clean slate.

Remove frames and calendars from the walls, curtains from the windows and every other piece of last season’s decor.  Don’t worry, you can put some items back if they fit into the new and improved space!

Pick your colors!

The tri-color method:   Chose 3 colors.

Color #1:  The main, overall color.  It’s best to chose the color of your walls or floor, and it’s also a good idea to chose a neutral color.  It’s just easiest to match and contrast other colors to.

Color #2:  The mid-color.  This color should be fun and a light to medium tone.  Chose three or four items of this color to add to your space.  They can include things like a piece of fabric, a chair, a throw, curtains, a piece of wall art, a painted shelf or a rug.

Color #3:  The accent color.  This color should be fun, chic and totally your style…in fact, it should be your favorite!  Find decor items like vases, candles, a pillow and a few small wall-art hangings.  Sprinkle your space with style!

Some Tri-Color Examples:

ivory, blue and red

green, orange and ivory

green, violet and yellow

sienna, blue and white

white, green and yellow

Out with the old, in with the cute!

Storage should be functional and chic:

  • Line drawers with fun contact paper or 12×12 scrapbook paper.
  • Trash the wastebasket and use a wicker basket for garbage and recycling instead.
  • Get rid of the shoeboxes and coffee cups, and line clear mason jars on a shelf to hold pencils, buttons,                       paper clips and other little trinkets.
  • Toss a cute tablecloth over storage boxes of supplies you don’t use often.
  • Line cardboard boxes with decorative paper to hold your supplies.  (Almost any cardboard box will do: shoe boxes, cereal boxes, garment boxes, etc.  It’s best to use the same paper to cover all boxes, since it looks more uniform…unless you’re going for a crazy look, in which case go for it!)
  • Replace old dresser handles and light switch covers with new ones that fit your style. (These are pretty cheap at a hardware store or Targ@t!)

The mini-facelift is so easy!

  • Face your desk to a window or the wall if you prefer to work by yourself; face your desk toward the middle of the room if you invite company while you work.
  • Recover your work chair with some chic fabric and a few staples.
  • Replace a dark, heavy lampshade with a lighter one in your colors.
  • Put up cafe curtains in your chosen spring fabric (see my spring cleaning post.)  They will let in tons of light while keeping your space private.
  • Frame your favorite fabrics and decor paper and hang them on the wall in a tight group to make one big art piece!
  • Use a vase to store rulers and other long, narrow supplies.
  • Attach a curtain rod to the wall (at waist to shoulder height) to display and dispense ribbon and rolls of paper.

While you design, remember these key ingredients to a great craft room:

  • Make sure your work space is well lit
  • Too much/too little stimuli can be boring or distracting.
  • Keep 90% of your work surface (table top, desktop, etc.) free of clutter.
  • If you’re in need of furniture or storage and are in a financial pinch, check out an online community that has postings for free stuff. (I just got a great dresser from Craig’sList.)
  • Ask yourself: Does your space look/sound/smell/feel good to you?  (If you need it to taste good, keep a bowl of yummies to satisfy you while you create.)

If you have any tips or comments let us know!  We love to hear from you.

Happy designing!

A craft binder is a great way to organize your ideas and your craft space! I use mine like crazy, so I thought I’d share the basics of it with you.

The Binder

Find the biggest 3-ring binder that you can:i t needs to hold a lot!  Personalize it with fun paper and your name.

Fill it with the basics.

1.  Make sure it has inner pockets.  You can tuck patterns and instructions in these.

2.  Use dividers (mine are made from heavy paper, not store-bought.)  Label each section with the different types art that you create.  Fill each divided section with both lined and blank paper.

Add the extras.

3.  Use clear presentation-page protectors to display your favorite craft paper, fabric or a craft magazine page detailing a new craft idea.

4. Here you can jot down ideas to try later, a tip from a friend, a sketch for a new design or a website you’ll reference later.

Include the catch-all.

Punch holes in a manila envelope or other folder to keep the loose pages in your organizer, like sewing patterns, instruction booklets and paper samples.

Happy organizing!

Hard work pays off!

1.  Depending on your personality, durability in each may be important.

2.  Permanent ink on either is there forever.

3.  Each is created with either intention or laze.  Hope for a work of art.

4.  Both find satisfaction in the progress of the other.

5.  A sturdy spine of either makes for a good foundation.

6.  Cast not each pearl to swine.  Valuable are both’s insides.

7.  Don’t worry: the cover of either can be mended.

8.  Dog ears aren’t attractive on either.

9.  Tree pulp and blood, though vital, are gross to look at.

10.  No two of either are alike, nor replaceable.

A few more?

A page is like a hangnail: pull the bad ones out only if you must: it can hurt.

An open book is good for a few laughs, but that only lasts so long.

Share as much as you can of both with your children and their children.

An author finds herself interesting; a journal finds itself interesting.

A journal believes it’s author always; an author knows the journal silghtly embellishes.

When thrown into the fire neither both become ashes.

Lyes in a journal device neither the journal nor the author; lying in an author deceives the world.

I’m soooo hateful of my measuring cups.

Well, I have two sets.  One is by Kitchen Aid, and they’re fine.  The other are black plastic generic ones that my mom gave me from her camping supply that she didn’t need, and they suck.  The black ones tried to trick me into thinking I was crazy.  The black ones are the ones from hell.

I’m a great baker.  I make bread, cookies and any other toasty goody I’m in the mood for.  But for the past few months I’ve been producing crap about half the time: it’s either too dry, too soupy or just not right.  This isn’t like me, so I figured I’ve been going through a rough patch.

This morning I decided to make cookies, and the dough looked totally dry.  Chocolate chip cookie dough isn’t supposed to be dry.  I mean it looks like sand!  I got suspicious, and reasoned that the only way that this sand-crap dough was too dry was from too much dry ingredient.  I used ‘ol trusty Kitchen Aid cups to double check the devil ones, and sure ’nuff: they’re off by 100%!

A big bowl filled with sand-dough.

So the 1/2 cup is really a 1 cup.  Half the time I was adding twice the recipes’ dry ingredients.

I’m glad I figured it out, and feel wonderfully gratified! My baking is still divine!  Though I am feeling unreasonably spiteful at the irresponsible cup manufacturer.  THEIR ONLY JOB IS TO MAKE LITTLE ACCURATE CUPS WITH FLIMSY HANDLES.  They’re fired in my head.

Has this ever (in all of the history of the time of people) happened to anyone else?

1. For the first I paid two-fifty and got one; for the second I paid two-fifty and got a hundred.

2.  One starts the fire in the fireplace, the other one hogs the place in front of the fire.

3.  Both leave remnants on the floor.

4.  One folds up and fits into my pocket; the other used to fit in my pocket.

5.  While one lays uniformly with its peers, the other goes nuts around them.

6.  Neither do well in water.

7.  A tear in one breaks my concentration.  A tear in the other breaks the bank.

8.  I only trust leaving a sandwich in the presence of one.

9.  Both rip, but only one requires me to leave the room afterwards.

10.  I can’t imagine my life without either.