Georgia on my Mind

Well, the time has gotten away from me. I realize I haven’t posted in months. Since my last post my family has been through a major change. Mike accepted a new job with Caterpillar’s Forest Products division in Lagrange, Georgia. What began as a few business trips turned into much more.

We bought a house in Hogansville, Georgia that we LOVE. It is literally “Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee.” We have a dock on West Point Lake which is actually a reservoir on the Chattahoochee river. We already have a tandem kayak! Mike and I fell in love with this house the moment we saw it. More details will come in later posts.

The Peoria house has given us a few headaches. The relocation company is requiring us to have a crack in the basement foundation repaired, among other things. When the whole moving process started, I kept talking about all the hoops we had to jump through. Once we got moved, John started asking if we were done with the hoops. Unfortunately, we aren’t. I hope the last one comes soon.

Kayak

Dream Craft Room (Some Results!)

I have been very busy lately with trips, birthdays, baby showers, and school starting. I am finally sitting down to show you in detail how I have organized my stamping supplies. Mentally prepare for a post with tons of pictures. Also, you can read about buying and assembling all the IKEA stuff here, here, and here.

Before I start, I will say that I didn’t acquire all of this stamping stuff overnight. I went to a party a number of years ago and enjoyed it. Then I didn’t do anything for a long time. Fast-forward to early 2011 when I was helping my best friend, Becky, make all the paper goods for her wedding. Every Friday night I would go to her house and we would work. I started calling it the Wedding Sweatshop, but it was really a lot of fun. I started to buy more of my own supplies and make a few cards. Four years later and we’ve added more members to the Sweatshop crew. We’ve done another wedding and a graduation party. Becky is a SU demonstrator and I’m one of her best customers.

You will find that I mention Stampin’ Up and Stamp-n-Storage a LOT in this post. I am not a SU consultant and I have not been compensated in any way by either company. I actually use and love their products. SU has quality stamps and inks. The colors coordinate throughout (inks, markers, paper). I also like their paper cutter better than any of the handful I’ve owned. Stamp-n-Storage sells sturdy storage units that are made to fit SU products in very clever ways. The shelves come in the natural wood but you can stain or paint them to any finish you want.

Desk

This is the view of the main work surface. I will focus in on each area in a minute but here I want to point out the stamping mat. It is made by Sealer Supply and I ordered it from Amazon. I love it because it protects my desk, is non-stick, and provides an even surface for stamping. It is 15″ x 18″ but they can be ordered in custom sizes so I’m considering getting one that is about four times bigger. Then I will use this one when I go to workshops.

Paper

Let’s start our little tour with the desk. This is my SU Designer Series Paper. The bottom holder is from Stamp-n-Storage and the top one was a hand me down. I labeled them with little strips from my label maker.

Ink
I LOVE my ink and marker holder from Stamp-n-Storage. It holds 60 ink pads and coordinating markers. I put them in rainbow order which makes me very happy every time I look at it. I labeled each ink pad with its category so I can find the corresponding paper easily. I will show you the paper in a little bit. On top I have scissors, glue, and other markers.

Punches

This is the Stamp-n-Storage punch holder. I love being able to see my punches and grab them easily. I used to have some of the whale-tail punches but I sold them and got the lock-down kind. So much easier to store! For now I have my buttons in the empty spots. On top is a box of cards and envelopes that are finished so I can just grab one. Off to the right in the fabric bin are my embossing folders and thinlits.

Alex1

Let’s move on to the Alex drawer unit. I put my Big Shot here when I’m making cards because it gives me plenty of clearance to crank. When I close up shop I put the Big Shot on the desk and roll the drawer unit under the desk.

DrawerA1
This is the top drawer. It holds my Stamp-a-ma-jig tool, a few specialty inks, an adhesive remover, and key tags that I used to make wine glass markers with names on them for a party. In the back there are some cork squares and a tin with some small scraps of paper. I love that the drawer still has empty space!

DrawerA2

The second drawer is a little more jumbled. I have assorted washi tape in the middle more over there on the left. I think I need the Stamp-n-Storage washi tape holder, but more about that later. I also have my extra tape rolls, dimensionals, glue, calligraphy markers, paper piercing kit, rotary cutting blade (wait! that should be with sewing stuff! Ugh.), fishing line, and X-Acto blades.

DrawerA3

These are some birthday stamp sets that I use frequently and some sets that were given to me without cases. Eventually I will trade out the old cases for the new ones that Stampin’ Up sells.

DrawerA4

This is my embarrassingly large collection of crayons, colored pencils, and markers. I also have sandwich bags because you never know when you might need one. Interesting note: under the box of Mr. Sketch markers is the pencil case I used in second grade. It currently holds broken crayons.

DrawerA6

DrawerA5

The bottom two drawers have stickers for scrapbooking. These used to be in a six-drawer rolling thing. I was very glad to see that go at the garage sale, but I will eventually get something to keep the different sections separate. Baskets? Trays? Who knows.

DrawerM1

This is the top drawer of the small Alex unit in the middle of the long table. I keep my Stampin’ Trimmer and rotary addition as well as my Stampin’ Scrub and spray bottle. I leave my personalized stamp here too because I use it all the time! I will admit that these were the items that I had the most trouble with before I redid the craft room. I was constantly moving them around so I could get things done. Now they are easy to grab, use, and put back.

Drawer M2

This is the next drawer in the middle. It has office supplies and various Command hooks. The bottom drawers have sewing things in them so I will leave those for a different post.

Ribbon

This is the cabinet on the left side of the desk. I will admit that this is NOT a very good use of space. I promise that I’m working on it. But for now it holds my ribbon. The basket on top is Stampin’ Up ribbon and the bottom is craft store ribbon. I am trying to decide which Stamp-n-Storage ribbon holder I want. When that happens, Tthis cabinet will be empty. Oh, the possibilities!

Stamps

This is one of the built-in cabinets. These are the rest of my stamps and a few other crafting things (Glitter! Mod Podge!) And now you can see why I need to get the good Stampin’ Up cases. Those old ones drive me nuts! And yes, the stamp sets are in alphabetical order.

Files

Last, but not least, is the plain paper. I have the colors sorted by category. Each category has different colored folders. Within each category the colors are in the order they are listed in the SU catalog. I don’t know why I did it that way but it made sense at the time. I didn’t take picture of both drawers but I will say that the top one (pictured) has neutrals, brights, subtles, and catalogs. The bottom one (not pictured) has the In Color collections, regals, and retired colors.

So what’s next? I will probably get the washi tape holder and either the ribbon shelf or ribbon holder from Stamp-n-Storage. I want to move the bulletin board so it is centered above the desk. I have a wall decal to hang up. I would love to paint the wall. There is still the other half of the desk (sewing supplies!) that is kind of organized but feels like a hot mess when I look at it. I NEED a new chair. On wheels so I can roll over to reach my paper.

If you are still reading you are either an organization nerd like me or a friend who is trying to be nice and read my blog. Either way, thanks for sticking with me. I hope you will be able to use some of these ideas in your own space.

 

Where has the summer gone?

This summer has flown by faster than I even imagined it would. I spent the first half of the summer getting ready for camp, so I will talk about that first.

If you have known me for any length of time, you know that the Episcopal Church Camp of Illinois (ECC) has been a HUGE part of my life. I spent 11 years as a camper and 16 years as a counselor (and was there in my mom’s belly one year!). This year I started my tenure as the Senior Session Director. I haven’t missed a summer since 1987. As a child I looked forward to camp all year but now I’m even more involved. In addition to being the Senior Session Director, I am the the camp Registrar and sit on the Camp Board. All of that means that camp is more like a job. But my camp friends are definitely more like family and I truly believe in the ministry. We get to interact with kids in a Christian camp setting for a whole week. We worship with them. We pray with them. We laugh with them. We talk to them. For some of these kids, camp is the only good week they have all year. For all of them it is a chance to experience Jesus in ways they may not get to at home. I could devote an entire blog to my thoughts and feelings about this camp, but that will have to wait. For now, here are some photos from camp this year.

We had a great week. In Seniors we had very little drama and LOTS of spiritual growth. Our healing and commissioning services were awesome. We added archery to our activity list and were able to have a few more activities with other sessions. My first year as a session director was exhausting. Like, more exhausting than the year I was seven months pregnant! And I came home and immediately jumped in to some intense potty training (more on that later!).

I am planning a lot of upcoming posts. Rest assured that The Great Purge is ongoing. We have tackled about 75% of the list. Stay tuned as I catch you up on the rest of our summer adventures! In the meantime, I want to know about YOUR camp experiences. Did you go to sleep-away camp as a kid? Did you love it or hate it? Favorite memories?