Ribbon and fiber storage solution (?)

Recently I have been scouring Pinterest for interesting ways to store my ribbons and fibers so that they are more easily accessible while I’m working in the studio. Up until yesterday, mostly all of my collection was in a big plastic tub, jumbled together in a big mess of fiber-y goodness.

Here are some of the cool ideas I’ve pinned.

And here is what I’ve got going on right now in my studio:

ribbon and fiber storage


All of the spools are threaded onto cord, which is hung on cup hooks attached to the ceiling. Right now, the ends of the cord are tied into loops, which I hook onto the cup hooks. I do need to come up with a better solution than tying and untying those loops that will also allow me to still thread new spools onto the cord. I’m still working that one out.

Then I placed all of the loose scraps of yarn and ribbons in these two decorative birdcages where I can see everything and pull pieces out as I need them. Any pieces that were long enough are wrapped on cards and in a drawer. I also tried wrapping some around old-fashioned clothespins, and they are in a sterlite box, which is handy for taking upstairs, or to my art group. I also have a lot of scraps that are sorted by color group and stored in clear AMAC boxes, but I find them annoying to access quickly. I will probably put all of those scraps into the birdcages, too.

So that’s my big exciting project this week! My mission is to eventually stop storing my supplies on the floor. It’s good to have goals in life.

Input? Suggestions? Let’s see your ribbon and fiber storage!

Pen shopping!

I don’t know if my love for office supplies has ever been properly documented. I have more pens than any person should be allowed to have. I partially blame Kelly Kilmer for this, but that’s a whole other blog entry just waiting to happen.

Today, I headed to Office Depot because I needed new printer cartridges. Office Depot had recently sent me a coupon for $25 off a purchase of $25 or more, so it seemed a no brainer. Since the coupon excluded ink, I figured I could replace a few of my dried out Pitt Pens and pick up more of the Uniball Vision Elite pens that I love so much. Who knew a gal could have so much fun in an office supply store? I am a sucker for a nice design and a new way to organize myself and my stuff. Luckily, I was able to restrain myself.

Here’s what I did buy:

  • gl_visionelite_1
  • Uniball Vision Elite. The tip is .05/micro. I’ve been using the bold, which I do love because they write over acrylic paint so nicely. I thought it was time to try out the fine tips. I got the pack of many colors, of course, but if I had to choose one, it would be black. I use these pens for everything. They write so nicely!
  • Pink Expo Dry Erase markers. Some of the money goes to City of Hope and they are PINK, for the love of Mike. I have two dry erase boards in my studio for reminding me what to keep top of mind and as soon as I free them of other messes, I will outline my studio projects for the upcoming weekend.
  • Earl Grey Sharpies. Fine and Ultra Fine. This color will be great for shading. I can’t even find it on sharpie.com, but it’s delicious. You need these pens. Also, I noticed the store has a brand new sharpie display…almost a whole side of the aisle covered with sharpies, including open stock of fine and ultra fine. It doesn’t get better than this. Don’t tell my husband.

Here’s what I didn’t buy:

  • 659275_sk_lgReally Useful Box. You can’t see the candylike colors of the lids online, but they are gorgeous in the store — red, pink, green, blue see through…NOM. I think I might need one for the car for all of those things that rattle around in there like the first aid kit, tissues, handiwipes, etc. They were on sale for $10, too! I can see these being really useful for storing and sorting collage papers — and toting the papers and assorted assemblage supplies to workshops. I’m going to think some more on this one.
  • sn04651_aux_lg

    PaperMate Flair Felt Tip Pens. Many colors all in one package. I swooned, but decided I needed to chill. I still have my recent Bic Permanent pens from my birthday money and they are delicious in their own right. Next time I need pens (next month, I hope!), it can be these Flairs. Every girl needs a little flair. And I DO like talking about my Flair.

Other than finding some lovely supplies, I have been making lots of yummy stuff, which I will be posting later this weekend, so stay tuned!

a fresh new start — woohoo!!

This coming April, we’ll have been in our house 2 years and since we moved in, I have been searching for the most economical way to work with the space in my office to be as efficient as possible and to not be overwhelmed by clutter all of the time. While I would love to Elfa out the the whole place, that’s just not affordable. Even the kitchen cabinets and stuff I checked out at home improvement stores just wasn’t in our budget. The most affordable thing I found to use in the studio, which is also really heavy duty and durable, as well as pretty flexible, are the cool chrome shelving units we found at Sam’s. We had used them in the kitchen when we had no pantry and then they were moved down to the studio when we updated the kitchen.

In the past month or so, I came up with a new layout. I felt kind of bad because Tim and I spent Independence Day weekend moving stuff around and I was going to make him work again, but of course, he just wants to make me happy. How awesome is he? Anyway, the difference between this office move and the last is that I am really organizing all of my stuff. Not just shoving stuff around, but going through every drawer, box and bin to see what I really have. I have found all kinds of amazing things I’ve forgotten about. And oh man, you would not believe the paper stash!!

So here’s how it went:

Day 1: Tim and I assessed the plan and decided in what order everything was going to move and what we had to do to make that happen. You see, the idea of moving everything out and starting from scratch is way too much for me, so we decided to move things a bit at a time…a desk here, a file cabinet there, stacking things and shoving things out of the way for each phase of the move. I put away as much loose stuff as I could and began shoving everything out of the way.  We moved the desks and set up one of the shelving units to hold all of the electronic equipment. We also moved Tim’s computer downstairs so we could free up space in the family room.

The morning of Day 2, I took these photos:

day 2 – everything shoved to one side of the room Day 2 – closeup of shoved stuff

Day 2: Tim and I kept moving things and we built the new shelving unit so it would be two 3-shelf units. We also broke apart one of the units that was already in the room and lined them all up along the wall underneath the built-in bookshelves. We also moved my craft table and the big table into the center of the room. I thought it would be cool to set up the little craft table over by the window so I can use that for sewing. My original plan is to make the worktable free of anything other than what I’m actually working on. I also emptied all of the iris carts (except for 2) and now I am the proud owner of many bankers boxes with orange sticky notes on them that say “sort”.

Day 3: I was really tired and only spent an hour or two arranging things and doing light sorting.

Day 4: Today, I spent all day again and got everything off the floor, into boxes for later sorting or placed in their final (or semi-final) homes. I can see where a few things are going to get moved, but not until I’m completely done sorting and know what I have. So now I’m making lists of the stuff I need to sort (rubber stamps, magazines, the closet, the boxes that say “sort”…) and I’m planning on tackling one item a week until it’s all done. I’m really excited!

Final – office side Final – center of room — worktables
Final – studio side of room – taken from window end Final – view of room from window end

So that’s what I did on my “break”. I’m really pooped, but very satisfied with my progress.

Plans for 2009 include:

  • Finishing UFOs — I found two shelves’ worth during the reorg!
  • Learning to play
  • Working on my heart’s desire stuff and
  • Figuring out who I am as an artist and where I want to go with it.

I’m not going to join swaps willy nilly and I’m not committing to anything that doesn’t help me in some way toward my goals.

Happy New Year, everyone!