Friday, February 22, 2013

Scrapbook Tool! A Must Have Tool!

I just bought this tool and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  I don't know how I went this long without it.

It's called the We Are Memory Keeper's Crop-O-Dile and it punches holes in thick materials, and helps you set eyelets, grommets (or grommlets), snaps and brads.  I was using another tool that had a hammer and I'd have to line up the item I was setting under an exacto mat, and pound away till it set right.  This was a problem if I was working late at night though, simply because the banging was just too noisy and I'd wake up everyone in the house.  In fact, not only did projects get put on hold and never completed, I was avoiding using the tool I had because it was just a pain to use!  Have you ever not completed something because you didn't have the right tool or you disliked what you had to work with?

Well, I started a Valentine Banner made out of cardboard pennants and really needed to punch holes in it.  The tool I had just wouldn't work for cardboard due to the thickness of what I was punching and I started searching for a product that would punch the cardboard I had used.  I'd seen the We R Memory Keepers Crop-O-Dile Tools before, but didn't really understand how to use it.  I went searching for a how to video on you tube to see if this was the tool I was looking for.  Once I understood how to use the Crop-O-Dile, then I realized I'd been doing things the hard way this whole time!

There's a Big Bite Crop-O-Dile II which is good for punching long reach holes.

There's also a regular size Crop-O-Dile too.  
If you don't need to use a long reach in any of your projects, the hand held Crop-O-Dile is fine.  

The We R Memory Keepers Crop-O-Dile cuts through papers, cardboard, metal, leather, acrylic, chipboard, fabric, wood, poly, and so much more!  This is the perfect tool to set your eyelets, snaps, brads, and so much more! 

 Here's a sample of a Crop-O-Dile Set , if you are just getting started.  

So anyhow, I ended up buying the Big Bite.  I punched the holes and added the grommets (8 of them!) within minutes.  I can now say this is an easy to use tool, doesn't make the loud noises I was avoiding, and now I'm using my brads, eyelets, grommets, and more all the time.  

It pays to have the right tools to get the job done.  This happens to be one of those tools that I am so happy I bought and I feel comfortable in recommending!

Buttons, Brads and Beads...oh my!

Here's another great storage idea for those buttons, brads, beads and more!  

When you keep this ephemera in same size packaging and keep it all together, it's easy to access them quickly.  Again, no wasted time finding things, no wasted space either.   This rotates too!  

How do you store these little tiny items?  This is great for scrapbooking, jewelry making, beadwork, glitters, paper punches, etc.  Can you think of some other uses for this too?

EK Success Storage Carousel

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Organizing ephemera and embellishments - No fear!

After going to the scrapbook store a few times, have you ever found yourself thinking "Oh gosh, I need to organize this stuff so I can find it better?"  If so, you aren't alone!  First it's stickers, then other embellishments, flowers, and tags, and before you know it, you have a ton of stuff.

That's great though, right?  To have a bunch of supplies so you can create?  It's a great problem to have!  After a while, have you ever found yourself wondering where you put something?  If you are like me, you like everything at your fingertips, easily accessible and easily organized.    Well, that's easier said than done, right?  

Years ago they didn't have the scrapbooking supplies that they have today.   When I found the Simply Renee - Clip It Up Base Unit, I realized I could have my cake and eat it too!   It sits right on my desk and I spin away until I find exactly what I'm looking for.

Once that filled up, there was no where to go but UP!   You can actually add on to the base unit and add more storage at the top with  The Upper Tier!    

Now I find it fast and easy to locate exactly what I'm looking for.  In fact, you can even add extra clips too.

Are you using this product, or a similar product?  I'd love to hear what you think about it.  I think it's awesome what they've come up with over the years and this is one of my favorite storage ideas lately!

When you don't have time to look all over town...

I used to drive all over town to find that scrapbook supply that I just had to have.   I'd grab all  my coupons and drive store to store trying to find that one thing I heard about on a blog or forum.   Looking back, now I see that was all madness!  At the price of gas now days, plus the fact that time is money and I can order what I want online and discounted more wasted gas or time.  In a few days, whatever I want will be delivered right to my door.

One of my favorite online scrapbook stores is listed below.   There are always specials and daily discounts  available here too.  

Bookmark this site and check back often for the specials.  You'll be glad you did! Thousands of scrapbooking supplies. HUGE daily discounts!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And then one day, everything changed.........

I've been a rubberstamper for 21 years and naturally, the love of stamping turned into a passion for paper arts, including scrapbooking.  Over the years many of the stamp stores I've loved have gone by the wayside, never to be seen from or heard from again.   In fact, some of my favorite celebrity stampers have retired and no longer run the tradeshow circuit, teach, or sell their DVD's.   However, I'm still going strong and my passion for the paper arts has only grown over time.  

In the late 90's/early 2000's, I finally gave in and started to scrapbook.  At first I said I'd just do my son's baby book.  That was only the beginning!  Suddenly the craft stores I frequented were adding scrapbook supplies by the aisle, soon to take up much of the store.   Scrapbook stores were becoming mainstream and popping up all over the place.  Finding supplies was becoming easier and easier.

My son's baby book soon became just one of the projects I was working on.  As family events and vacations happened, and I found more papers, stickers and ephemera, I realized one scrapbook wasn't going to be enough to feed my desire for the paper arts.  

Soon I needed my own room to house and organize my stuff.  Eventually I painted my "Diva-Den" my favorite colors and made my studio a haven for all things art and paper.   I searched for the coolest storage units, best desks and work space.   I studied others people's hobby room and created my art haven.   Over the years, I've attended many stamping and scrapbooking expo's, searching out the best and the coolest tools available.   It's always fun to come home with my treasures, though sad that I'd have to wait sometimes the whole year for the next expo as they were always so much fun!

I always tried to be really careful to purchase supplies that were classic, that would stand the test of time.  Eventually the hand held pump airbrush system would be replaced by a more powerful, electric airbrush machine.  Wood mounted stamps were replaced by unmounted stamps with clear acrylic blocks.  At one time even the Cricut Die Cutting machines became very popular, however in my Diva Den they've even been  replaced by the Silhouette Cameo and the design studio software.   No more cartridges to collect and no more wasted money on designs you would never use.  The old Red Sizzix was replaced by the newer, easier to use Big Shot.  Stencilling has even become a thing of the past as we now used embossing folders to easily add raised designs to our art papers.  It's safe to say that the industry has changed a great deal over the years!

The purpose of my blog is to share projects, as well as products, that I feel have stood the test of time.  We'll also share techniques and tools, hopefully help each other to save money on products that you don't really need to spend money on or that might have a dual (or more) purpose.  I may even share a few good deals too, if that is an interest to my readers.

It's not necessary to go completely broke buying one color of everything.  Some products can easily be modified, colored, shaded, or utilized in a way so that you don't need to have so much product in your scrapping space.   I'm here to help, inspire, create and share.   Come along with me as we talk about what is important to have in your creative space.  Welcome!