How I solved _______________

Summer Clean your business/hobby

Dear Fellow Crafters,

We all are familiar with spring cleaning right? Heavy drapes are replaced with light-weight curtains and flowers (real  and fabric) bloom all over our homes. So it’s true in our hobby and business too.

In summer cleaning we need to consider two distinct areas: your supplies and your space. Supplies not often used degrade in quality over time.

  • Eliminate any materials that are old or to poor of a quality to use for providing your best pieces. If you can’t bear to throw out a beautiful color of dried up clay, put it in a special place for more consideration.
  • How are your tools holding up? Do your scissors or sewing machine needles need sharpening or replacing? Start a “to do list” or put it on the calendar to follow up.
  • Do you need to replace any items?This can be a costly endeavor so plan on doing so in increments, if possible. For instance, several of my dye inks are extremely dry and no amount of refreshing is helping. I put a list together of which colors I needed and determined to look for sales.
  • Do you have any samples of products you no longer make? Either take new pictures or use the samples as sale. Items.
  • I have an on-going obsession -I tend to leave no space empty. In essence I live in a cluttered hobby room. If this is your problem too, try spending some time thinking about your space. Can you rearrange  your area? Do you need .more shelving?
  • Is your space filled with someday projects? You know the ones – the clay pot or new dress or scarf you want to make but seldom have t time. Commit to one project at a time and free some space.
  • Freshen up your work environment. If you like a particular theme try adding a pillow or new curtains or wall decoration.


Too Much Stuff!

Too much stuff-punches, ribbon, scissors

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Our topic this time is about punches, ribbon and scissors. Feel free to share!


Craft Punches

     Craft punches need a lot of space. I originally stuck them in a drawer, but then had to sort through the pile until I found the right one! In the end, I decided on several options based on their size:

  1. shallow drawer
  2. open shelves
  3. over-the-door clear plastic pocket organizer


     Ribbon is sold flat, in rolls (some with adhesive), and loose in bags. Depending on the color and type, there are several ways to store ribbon.

     1. Cabinet drawers (well-labeled if not see-through)

     2. For spooled ribbon  try rods for over the door storage

     3. Pants rack – slide the ribbon spools over the rod and hang.

     4. Small glass or plastic containers can hold snippets of left-over ribbon.

     5. Re-purposed fruit baskets


     Scissors are sold by type. There are decorative-edged scissors, paper scissors, shears, cuticle scissors (for detailed cutting).

     1. Tool caddy

     2. Hang on a pegboard

     3. painting rack

     4. Store straight and cuticle separately on your word table

     5. Label the decorative-edged scissors by type.

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PaperCrafting 101

Paper Crafting. Tools

Dear Fellow Crafters,

     While researching this article, I discovered that the world of scrapbooking/stamping tools had grown while I was doing other things!  The category is long:  paper trimmers, punches, template and stencils, sticker machines, scissors, light boxes, crimpers. The most prominent manufactures are Martha Stewart, EK success HotofPress, Ranger, WeR Memory Xyron,  and Marvy.  Because the list Is long, I am going to talk about punches, scissors and paper trimmers.

New on the market is the AdvantEdge from Fiskars. More information is on their website: According to their site, “Magnetic paper clamp secures paper during punching ” and works with a variety of border punches. The prices look pretty reasonable.

     Their Everwhere Punch Window System cam be found on http://www I refer to this tool as an early die cut. It creates window cards with magnetic base and locks in place. The punches are circle, honey-comb, lattice, and heart.

Intricate shape punches look a little like Spellbinders dies.

Border Punches are quite unique. The types are weave, lace heart, grass (one of my favorites)  and are priced at about $15 each.

Squeeze Punches are handheld and are medium, large and extra large. Some of their types are scallop, hearts and are priced at about $19 each.

Corner Punches really spark your cardstock. They make decorative edges or rounded ones.

Paper Trimmers -There are many different ones out there. There are different features to each one. Some questions town ask yourself to determine which one Is practical for you are:

  •      Is it easy to store?
  •      Is it light enough to carry?
  •      Is it easy to use?
  •      Does it give a really good precise finish to your card?
  •      How many blades and are they easy to change?

My favorite is the Fiskar Portable Rotary Trimmer. It comes width a straight blade but you can buy scallop, perforating, and scoring.

Scissors -buy paper scissors AND cuticle scissors for fussy cutting. Decorative scissors have lots of different edge.

More next time.