Wednesday, March 24, 2010

While The Glue Is Drying - Top Tips!

We asked our Design Team to tell us about some of the really simple things they do to make life easier when crafting, and here are some of their responses.  We'd love to hear from all our readers too, so leave us a comment if you'd like to share your hints!

Where do you get your inspiration?

The internet. Google is fantastic if you're looking for a certain set. Split Coast is okay, but you have to sift through a lot of creations. I think JAI is my fave place (sorry, biased!!) for inspiration, I'm blown away with the entries we're getting. They're all top quality.

* I have folders that I use to file ideas I like from magazines etc. They're divided up into categories - cards, pages, projects, techniques...
* I have a folder on our computer to save photos of cards that I'd like to CASE (including the crafter's info so I can reference them if I publish my cards on my blog).
* I also take photos of all the cards I make - sometimes a simple technique I used months ago is exactly what I'm looking for.
* Being on a Design Team means I’m constantly seeing heaps of brilliant work too!

All over! I keep my favourite blogs in Google reader and have tags like "layout", "colour combo", "ribbon idea" etc so that when I see something I like, even if it's only a small element of the card or scrapbook page, I file it accordingly so I can refer back when I need to.

I love looking through magazines, but these can be very expensive, so blog surfing is probably the best and easiest way to find inspiration. There are so many fantastic ideas out there.

I get inspiration from other blogs, magazine ads and fabric shops… these last two especially for colour combos I haven’t tried before.

What do you do when you need to make a quick card?

Again, the internet. A quick CASE, otherwise it's all paper, glue and disaster.

I don’t do quick! I always get sidetracked and spend a lot longer than I should! So when I make a card that I really like, I make a few of them. Some go to be sold, one stays to be displayed, and a couple go into my card box – cards that I’m keeping to give.

Make one that I have made a million times before in different colours and stamps! I have a few "go to" designs that I love and use repeatedly.

* I have also been known to case myself and use the same layout with different sets and colours.
* This is also an organisation tip - have a sketch/colour combo book handy. Just print out sketches and glue them or you can hand draw them into a pretty notebook or folder. When you are stuck just bring out the sketches and colour combos and off you go.

I often CASE myself going for a tried and effective card and just change it a little.

What organisation hints can you share?

* Check out K-Mart's tool section! I have containers for everything - my most recent purchase was a clear box with compartments to put all my alpha's - so any spare letters I might have I put them in there for a quick fix.
* I have manilla folders to put my scraps in - they are colour coded - blues, greens, red, pink, orange, yellow, Kraft (yes, I have one just for Kraft scraps), black/white combined.
* I have a big 12x12 bag for SU! DSP scraps, another for contraband DSP.
* Use formula tins for bins - they are wonderful, cheap and do the job. It's amazing how much these things hold. They're fun to decorate too.
* I do the folder thing too, Card Inspiration, Scrapbooking Inspiration, Make These... I also have an art journal with passport-sized prints of my computer saves for when I can't get to the computer, or I’m out creating at friends places.
* Have a regular clean out. If you haven't used it in a year, turf it or ebay it.

I label my stamp sets with those small circle stickers - the removable kind you get from a newsagent or Officeworks. All sets have the title printed on white (easier to see), hostess sets have a gold sticker on the left hand side, retired (or not available) sets have a silver sticker on the right. Current sets (non hostess) have nothing. So as soon as a mini finishes, I just add silver stickers to the sets that are retiring. It just means that when I'm looking for ideas for workshops, I can skim past the retired sets easily.

I keep a snap lock bag of scraps of each colour filed next to large sheets of the same colour so that I can head straight to the scraps bag to look for a piece that I need, then if there's not a scrap big enough for what I need, only then do I chop into a new piece of cardstock.

One of the best things I have done is I bought a few of square, clear containers (sandwich size) and tipped my embossing powders and glitters into them. I have labelled each container and put a plastic spoon into each. When you go to emboss or glitter a project you just hold your piece of cardstock over the container and spoon over the powder. The excess drops straight back into the container or can be easily tapped off the cardstock, ready to be used again and with NO MESS!! It's so easy not to have to the tip the excess powder back into another container small jar.

Sorry don’t have any tips as my organisation is non-existent! I do have some carry tool boxes that I put everything in to take to a class or workshop… I suppose that’s organisation!

Do you have any questions you'd like to ask our talented Design Team?  Post them in the comments section and we'll see what we can do!


  1. I get my inspiration everywhere! Blogs I love, galleries and ofcorse challenge blogs like JAI (I'm loving this place) I am turning into a challenge junkie and CANT go a day without atleast entering one or two! Thats my answer to a quick card too. If I want to create some quickly and easily, I find a sketch challenge and a colour challenge and BAM card done! :)
    I am not an organisation kind of person! I find continually changing things helps me stay onto pf the chaos, if I have just rearranged everything I am more likely to keep it tidy! (unlike my kids who think a tidy room is a great area to cover with mess) :) Love your tips girls! As always a great read and full of ideas and inspiration! Thanks

  2. Thanks girls, Great read I'm loving JAI. I don't watch tv anymore I blog hop for ideas. Thanks for all your tips.

  3. I found this article really useful, thank-you ladies. Neat to read tips on how other people do things. Thanks for sharing them!