Meet a Maker!

  It is a lovely, warm Tuesday here in the Twin Cities. I am spending it in my jammies, in the air conditioning. One reason is that I had a recent bout of Basil Cell skin cancer, and I really don't want to trigger it with too much sun again. Another is that I am not a good gardener or landscaper, nor do I have much interest in it. I kind of want to set up the pool we bought, though, and that is fighting with my selfish, ac loving body. Ah well.
  So, at the church where my husband is the parish pastor, is a very crafty lady named Paula.

Hi Paula!
  She is into cardmaking and stamping, as well as crocheting. We got to chatting not long ago about her stamps, and I was intrigued with her organizational style for them. I like to be organized, and fail miserably at it often, but her way was so interesting that I asked if she would let me interview her and take a few pictures. Gracious as always, she said sure!
  Once a month, I and the craft ladies at church choose a Saturday to get together, and this past Saturday, July 8th I was able to ask her a few questions, and take a few pictures.
  Her favorite stamps to use are primarily the Stampin' Up brand (here is a link to their website), but also she likes to go to rubber stamp shows and buy bulk rubber stamps. She also will use acrylic stamps if they have images she likes.
  Paula prefers alcohol inks, as they don't bleed like other inks will. The colors tend to come out nicer as well. She uses heavy cardstock (as one does when making cards), and she prefers the Anchor paper products, which match papers with envelopes. Here is their official website. Also, they sell paper by the pound, which means you can get more bang for your buck.

On the left is a station that holds some inks, as well as ribbons. Paula tells me she has more ribbon to put on those dowels, but life has gotten in the way of her getting all of it up and going. On the right is her stash of papers, sorted into mail style slots. I'm actually a bit jealous; I stuff anything I have like that in a drawer, haha!

   Now, her system for storing her stamps is relatively simple to understand. She uses the Dewey Decimal system as a template, and sorts her stamps via seasons, themes, and sayings. She has a 10 drawer wire tower that houses the stamps, tools and unfinished projects. 8 of the drawers store the stamps in clear cd jewel cases, with the top being for the unfinished projects (we all have that drawer/box/bag, don't we??) and the bottom is used to store tools.

She separates the the stamps that come on blocks, and mounts them on EZ Mount (found this on amazon, for reference) so that she can store them in the clear cd cases she purchased for this. I suppose you could pillage your Nirvana collection for jewel cases, but these are nice, clean and slim.

Now, let's say the stamp set you bought was a fall themed set, with trees, pumpkins, scarecrows and leaves. Once in it's case, the set would be themed season, then nature, and then possibly even further categorized with decimals, just like in a library. I confess that I didn't fully understand it, and time has further fuzzied my memory, but it would look something like this on her master sheet: 550.0, which would tell her what drawer, and section of the drawer, that stamp set would be located in. Paula told me it is still a work in progress, and sometimes her master sheet escapes!
A visual reference guide
Some of her inks

It is always nice to get to see where a fellow crafter works, and to see the process that they use for their favorite crafts. I have seen her create chandeliers for girls rooms with paint, beads and feathers, and do a bit of crochet work, as well as the beautiful cards she has donated to the church for fundraisers.
  Thanks, Paula, for allowing me to be nosy in your craft area, and for letting me write a bit about what you do.
Alyssa, aka 2 Dainty Crafters


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