Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Space - Renee Van Stralen

Chances are, you're probably drooling right now. This is the space of Renee Van Stralen of Stamping for Sanity, and if I was to have an official happy place I think it would look a lot like this. *smile*

Renee is a mum of 5, from Canada, and has been a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator since 2006. We are always in awe of Renee's creations - she always has a little magic up her sleeve and never fails to impress. Here's what Renee told us about her lovely craft space.

Has this always been your creative space?
We'd been moving every year or so (due to my hubby's schooling) so I never really had a defined space to call my own. Once we bought this house, I decided that it was high time I got a space too! So, we've gone through a few renditions of the scrap area and changed it as my needs (and stuff) grew. I started out with a few IKEA pieces of furniture with the eye for being able to add and move them around. Knowing full well that we won't be living here forever, I wanted my furniture to be easily taken apart and reassembled in whatever configuration would work for whatever space I get.

What do you use for ink storage?
All my ink, markers and ink refills are stored in cases that my father-in-law made for me. They are individual units that hold up to 12 inks, and they can be stacked, be put side by side, hang up, whatever!

And stamps?
All my SU! stamps are in cupboards on the wall (see below). I purchased an IKEA bathroom cabinet with an opaque door, and they fit the stamp cases perfectly! The rest of my collection is stored in a Bind-It-All album.

How about storage for punches?
My punches are all on the wall on towel bard (also from IKEA).

We know you love ribbon - how do you store yours?
My hubby made me a cubby for my ribbon - it has two 12" wide sections with several rods in each section for plenty of ribbon storage. My scraps, well, I rarely have any 'cause I use it all up!

What's your best storage idea that you would like to share?
Hmmm ... best storage idea? I don’t know if I have a “best” idea, but I know this: if I want to use something, it’s got to be seen or at least in a cute container that is labeled!

What was your last major storage investment?
I didn’t buy this, but it was my Christmas gift from my father-in-law: he made me a storage shelf that’s on a lazy susan with all sorts of cubbies for my Big Shot and accompanying dies!

What are your top 3 tips for keeping things organised?
  • always put things away once you’re finished using it
  • if you find you’re not putting it away because it’s awkward, find a better spot for it!
  • clean up completely after you’re done a project!
What do you do with all your paper & scraps?
I store all my solid 8 ½” x 11” card stock in a filing cabinet. They are all in individual hanging file folders and I’ve stapled a large Ziploc bag to the inside front of each for the scraps. My patterned paper and 12 x 12 card stocks are in paper holders on my desk top.

How do you store buttons, doo-dats, etc?
I have a couple of the Stampin’ Stack & Store turn-abouts and they are really handy. As almost all of my embellishments are from SU, they all come in those little round containers that are designed to fit in the stack & store – I do find that labeling the sides of the containers makes it easier to see what’s there as mine happen to be up on a shelf!

What's your dream set-up? Or are you one of the lucky ones already there?
I like what I have! I wouldn’t mind more closed storage to keep the appearance of neatness but in all honesty, it all comes out when I’m in there anyway and I’ll keep it cleaner because it is so visible!
What items are guaranteed to end up on your desk after you've made something?
Stamp-a-ma-jig, scissors, adhesive, sponges, and dimensional backings (those things are a pain to clean up!)

What do you do when your mojo needs a kick start? What always works?
CASE someone! I invariably will start to case but I purposely choose a card that I have NONE of the supplies for forcing me to think outside the case-ing box. It seems to help me get back into things! *smile*
Tell us 5 tools/items you can't live without when you're about to make something.
Assuming that scissors and adhesive are a given with any crafting project, I’d say...
mat pack & piercer

Thank you Renee for showing us around your beautiful space, where the magic happens! We admire your work, and love the inspirational bug you share!

Thanks for visiting Just Add Ink!


  1. ahhhh wow! this is an awesome space...... drooling with Danielle! ;)

  2. This will be a blue-print for my dream space!! Renee, you are so blessed to have a wonderful area to stamp in!

  3. Niiice - I always love seeing other people's spaces and how they store stuff! Great space Renee

  4. I absolutely love your space! It looks so "creative-ness"!!!
    Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  5. Hahahaha - love your comment, Danielle! Renee's space is fantastic, isn't it? Such a creative woman; never fails to inspire me, that's for sure. Beautiful space, for a beautiful woman, who makes beautiful things!!

  6. So jealous of your space! It is awesome!

  7. I'm like what an amazing Father in Law to make you all that cool storage- for the ink pads and the dies.

  8. ...there are no words....!!!! Well maybe a few, that is fantastic! I wish I was there!!

  9. A great space to envy! But also some great ideas to use as well.