Week one of "Spring Clean Your Studio" is done! Hopefully you have cleaned up your primary workspace and established work stations for the crafting activities you do the most.
As you continue along, be sure to:
- Utilize a "scrap" bucket as you work. Throw your scrap papers, tools and (clean) rubber stamps in here as you work. This will keep your workspace clear!
- Clean up between projects. Earlier today my main workspace was covered in "Blossom Book" kits. Once I finished them up, every last scrap and tool was put away. I'm back to a squeaky clean table that just beckons me to find a new project! I hate having a window of time in which to work and discovering that my table is littered with scraps and tools from my last project.
This week we are going to focus on inks & papers. If you are not a rubber stamper, the inks should be pretty easy for you. If you do dabble in ink, you know how easy it is to accumulate a couple of dozen different types of ink. How do you know what you have and how do you store it? And paper..... don't even get me started on how much paper I have. We'll focus on inks today and come back to paper early in the week.
Step One: Gather It All Up
Dig around your studio and figure out just how many ink pads you have. Ten? Twenty? Over one hundred?
I ran around yesterday afternoon and snapped some pics of all of the different types of ink I own. Oh my holy cow!
Nik Bantock dye ink pads (and refills)
Ranger Distress ink pads (and refills)
Big and Juicy rainbow pads
Step Two: Purge
In true hoarder fashion, I can lamely try to justify each and every one (OK, maybe not the Big & Juicy... but at least it has a home!) of these ink pads. Most of them stamp on different types of media. Some have completely different colors -- stamp just once with a Nick Bantock pad and you'll want to buy the entire line. Some have beautiful colors, but can't handle acrylic stamps (ahem, Ancient Page?).
It is time to decide what you really need. If you have space for everything, great! Keep it! But if you're keeping different brands that serve the same purpose, you might want to consider putting some of it up as a bulk lot on E-Bay. Take a look at Ellen Hutson's ink comparison charts and decide if you can get by with one type of dye, one type of pigment, one type of chalk and a couple of specialty pads (Staz-On, VersaFine).
A couple of years ago, I purged all of my ColorBox pigment inks because I realized that I never heat emboss. Of course, I kept a ton of embossing powders, which is kind of like selling your DVD player, but keeping the DVDs. I also sold off all of my VersaChalk and Stampa Rosa Chalk pads. I had three types of chalk pads and decided to stick with my ColorBox chalks.
I've narrowed my inks down to what I truly (might) use. Every time I think I can get rid of one line, I think of a reason to keep it.
Step Three: Decide How You Are Going To Store Your Ink Pads
Some people choose to sort their inks by color and some choose to sort by brand. My inks are stored by color (ROYGBIV) within each brand. I decide which brand I want to use based on what type of media I am stamping upon (or what type of stamp I am stamping with). For example, if I am using an acrylic stamp, I will choose my Close To My Heart ink pads. If I am using a photo-realistic stamp, I'll reach for my VersaFine. If I need to stamp on glass or metal, it's Staz-On.
Step Four: Decide Where You Are Going To Store Your Ink Pads
If you only have a handful of ink pads, a pretty basket that is kept within reach will do. If you have a ton of ink pads, you'll need to find something that will work for your workspace. If you have wall space, there are some great options (see below) for storing your pads. My studio is in an unfinished basement, so my walls are created with Store-In-Style cubes & pegboard so I can't really hang anything.
My Stampin' Up! pads are stored in their handy-dandy tower. I've recently signed on as a Close-To-My-Heart consultant (I love the products so much that I need the discount!) and I was delighted to see that they have a storage tower for their ink pads as well. I use these two brands the most, so they sit proudly on my primary work space. On top of the Stampin' Up! caddy, I have a handful of my most-used pads (India Ink Black, Staz-On Jet Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Memories Black, Palette Black, VersaMark, ColorBox Chalk Creamy Brown & ColorBox Chalk Chestnut Roan).
The majority of my ink pads are stored in Tim Holtz's Cropper Hopper Ink Pad Cases.
I love the fact that I can store a ton of inks in one small confined space. I can fit 80 pads in each case and I have three of the big cases. It used to take up tons of room, but now it is pretty well contained (and that allows me to justify KEEPING IT ALL!)
Unfortunately, it is hard to see what colors I have, so I'm going to have to label everything. If I was using these ink pads regularly, this would be a lousy way to store my inks. I would probably opt for something like this:
There are a number of stamp caddies available. This particular one is by Angie Noe and you can find it by clicking here. A 64 ink pad holder is only $40.
A quick search on E-Bay will give you a ton of options as well (click here for ink pad storage).
Step Five: Create A Color Chart
As you put your inks away, create color charts for all of your inks. This will allow you to see what the color looks like when it is completely dried and it will stop you from buying similar colors. It also helps when you're trying to color match with your paper! I'm going to whip up my own color charts for each line this week. When I do, I'll post them for you to use as well.
If you want to make your color guide easy on yourself, try printing out ready-made manufacturer forms and stamping the color in the appropriate spot. Here are some I found yesterday:
- Tim Holtz Distress Inks by Ranger
- Kaleidecolor, Brilliance, VersaMagic, Memento and Palette
- Adirondack by Ranger
- Stampin' Up!
Step Six: Label
If you are storing your ink pads in a caddy or case, you'll want to label them so that you can identify them without taking them out. I use the tiny Avery labels and run them through my printer. I need to re-label all of mine this week!
So, there you go. Inks. Get going. Clean it up! I'll see you back here in a couple of days with my progress. Please keep sending me pics of your before & after progress. I love it!