Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tips, magazines, some advice, and a Seagull?

Tonight I wanted to share a couple of tips with you. It's not rocket-science, just a couple of simple things that help me in my day-to-day crafting journey.

Do you keep your large scraps of fabric and create new projects from them? I discovered that storing my leftover (project) fabrics in a plastic zip-lock bag and including a note with the name of the fabric range and the DMC (or other stranded thread) numbers and colours used, saves time when you want to whip-up something quick.

This came in useful just recently when I made another project from an 'older project' stash (the travel journal tutorial). It saves time hunting around for co-ordinating threads and fabrics.

My second tip is borne from the problem I have in being 'one of those people' who puts things down and then can not find them again. :-) Does that describe you too? It was only last week that I came up with this idea. {Insert lightbulb here!} Put everything that you're using for one project on to a transparent plastic *lid* (the type you get to go on top of plastic storage containers). So you know it is all in the one place, you can see what is beneath it, and can move it from one spot to another with ease.

Here's a pic of some of the goodies I'm using in my Christmas designs... I can pick up the entire project, at a moment's notice, to make space on my desk for something else... to use my computer and keyboard for example...

I haven't *lost* (oops, I mean 'mislaid!) anything since I've been doing this! Touch Wood!!! I do tidy the project away in a zip-lock bag when not in use. This is just to work more efficiently when I'm "in progress!"

Moving on to magazines... don't you just *love* them???? I do! There's been a lot of conversation in blogland lately about 'what do you do when you have too many magazines?' and magazine storage in general. I have to say, I keep all of mine. They are like books that I return to time and time again. I know that I'll probably not have time to make all of the projects I love, but I sure do enjoy looking at them! I never cut up my magazines, take projects out of them, or remove the ads. I derive as much enjoyment from the ads as I do from everything else!

So I file them by magazine title and volume in file holders, and attach 'sticky notes' to the projects I love, with a brief message or reminder so I can 'flick' through them to find the one I want. Like this:

An even more closer-upper-er!

Sometimes I wish I were more organised (ie. knew exactly where everything was), but the thing is I kinda love the thrill of not knowing! Of flicking through an old mag and finding something that had not interested me in the past. Tastes change all the time. I also keep a separate file holder to contain all the magazines with 'projects to make next' in them. I'm not sure that system works very well however, as I just want to keep cramming more and more magazines in to that one! Lol...

Do you remember in my last post I asked you to guess what this is???

Karen thought it was a penguin (Yes, I can see that too Karen, how cute!!!) and the majority of you thought it was a seagull - and you were right! In fact, Cheryl, was spot-on because she guessed it was a seagull casting its shadow from standing on a transparent roof! This sea-faring feathered friend was standing on a tarp* and cast a shadow of his feet and little bottom! Can you see it now? :-)

* For those of you who are unsure what a tarp is, here is one pictured below - it's a temporary canvas-like shade cloth.

A few weeks ago I showed you some new fabrics designed by
Rosalie Quinlan. Remember these?

One lovely lady asked me where the fabrics could be purchased online and I've since discovered you can buy online from
Quilt Fabric Delights. I hope this helps. I was fortunate enough to get my goodies 'hot off the press' at my local patchwork store, Patchwork with Gail B, which stocked the full range soon after release. I gifted half my booty to a special young friend, Jenny's daughter, Blossom. She made all the 'blog buttons' (including mine) for the Gum Tree Designers and is a very talented young designer, herself!

Now, I would just like to ask some advice from anyone with a Blogger blog! I have so many troubles formatting my posts. It takes me longer to format the post than it does to write it! The paragraph breaks are either non existent or too far apart and I have to go into Edit Html all the time to re-jig things about. It takes what feels like forever! Also, the photographs can't be moved around easily. I can't copy and paste them, so I have to try and get them in the right order to begin with otherwise I'm in a pickle! Has anybody else had this problem? Do you know how to fix it? Any advice would be gratefully received!!

Right - I'm off to go spend a couple of hours formatting this post (giggle!!) and then I'm going to do some.... sewing!!!! And probably some emailing too... What are you up to?!!

Until next time - hugs! - Vikki xx


Vicki ♥ said...

OH sweetness.....look into using Windows Live Writer to write up your post and then you publish it to your blog. It lets you sort out the post really easy and you can do some tricky things with your pictures like putting a watermark (C) onto them too. Just do a google and it will come up with it so you can download it and set it up is easy and so much better than using blogger. I sometimes use blogger if I am wanting a quick post written up. Hugs Vicki...if you want me to explain it a bit better just email me :) hugs hugs

Abby and Stephanie said...

I've recently been having the photo moving troubles. Not sure why. I don't have the space to store all my magazines so I do cut them up. With the ones I do keep I have the sticky notes but only as markers. LOVE how your write the project at the top.

Diane H said...

Thanks for the great tips Vikki.
My sewing room is also my small spare bedroom. I have my sewing table along the wall under the window. All my storage is in the double closet. So when I sew I open the doors and inside I have a couple of those sectioned hangers for sweaters (six separate boxes each) hanging in the center of the closet. It gives me a section for different project parts, fabric's for ironing, bits & bobs, my plastic ziplocks etc. all within easy reach. When I'm finished sewing I can shut the doors and everything is safely tucked away and ready for next time.

Kaaren said...

I've been using Windows Live Writer for about 8 months now and it's a blessing. Absolutely NO formatting problems and it's a breeze.

I keep all my fabric scraps of like color in separate zip lock bags. It makes it so much easier when you're looking for just a small piece, especially for applique.

Can't bring myself to cut up my mags either, Vikki. I store them as you do and try to keeps them grouped by title because it sure makes it easier when looking for something specific.

karenshopes said...

Lots of handy tips here, thankyou
I've just posted about my work room I think I will have to take some of your advice.

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow, Vikki, some great tips to remember. I especially love the one where you put the things you are using on a plastic lid!!! And I did have the left overs from a range in a zip bag, but writing down what is actually is, is very very good. And it looks nice (O:
You do seem very organized to me!
About the photo's - I am able to move those via html edit. When I have to 'reorganize' my written part, I also have to go to html edit, which takes so much time, going back and forth. Ugh. HOpe you get the right tip to make it easier and faster!
Heel veel liefs!

Melinda said...

I started using Windows Live Writer several months ago and it is wonderful. It is easy to format things, easy to post photos and I highly recommend it.

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

oh my gosh! how organized you are!
I too have that problem of putting things down and not picking them up.
The worst was when i was in Greensborough and went to the reject shop. I put down my purse (must get to make myself a bag one day) i got all the way home and did not realise until i went to open the door that i had the cd case in my hand and not my purse! My poor son had to take me back to the reject shop where i went to the check out chick and told her what i had done and we went back to where the cd cases were kept and there it was, my purse! how lucky was i? My books and magazines i do love and cherish but orderly they are not.
I do try but all i end up doing is basically moving one thing to another spot and it does not look like i tried!
Love this post.
As to format, i am glad that others know how to help you cos i have not got a clue!

Kiwifruit-Shiree said...

Hi Vikki,
what a lovely long post. You look so organised, rather freakishly organised, and then I realise that I do exactly the same things. I am with 'you and cannot throw out nor pull apart books, altho occasionally I give then away. I have found tho that it is worth buying the smaller clearer post tags with colour tops - then you can really get super organised - i.e red for pending quilt projects, blue for bags, yellow for ... etc etc. And zip lock bags ..well!! Oh where would we be without our type A personalities!!
As for finding things, I frequently put down my cars keys when shopping and then spend ages trying to find exactly which part of the shop I have left them! Not good when yu are in a large warehouse/barn shop!

Janice said...

I've enjoyed reading this post. I also keep all my magazines with bookmark througout of all the projects I'd like to make, but know I won't.....

I just set up Windows Live Writer after reading Tozz's comment and written my first post with it. I think I try it for a while and see how it goes.

Lauren Colless said...

Hi Vikki! I have the same problems with blogger, so thanks to Vicki for her advice in the comments, I'm going to check it out!!!

Lauren Colless said...

Oh I forgot to say thanks also for the tips on storage and organisation for the sewing room, living in a tiny unit means my sewing room is basically the entire living area with things stashed everywhere through the house... I'm inspired to go sort out my magazines and organise a sewing space at my desk! x

Julia said...

I've been having the same problems too.. so thanks to the girls for the tips.
I like to keep a project in a plastic box, a box for each different project ready to go!
My mags are all in a big trunk also used as a coffee / work table in the family room..
Julia ♥

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Very clever idea to write the fabric range and thread numbers for the left-over bags!! I'm going to do that from now on! Thanks sweetie!!

Allie said...

Great tips - love the plastic lid! I'll have to try that. I really like how you do your magazines too...mine are all tucked away, except for a special few with things I want to make soon.

Where do you store your pics? I use flickr, and it's really easy to copy and paste and put my photos where I want on my blog, without going into the mysterious world of html, lol. Sounds like I might have to check into Windows Live Writer though.

I NEVER would have guessed that it was a seagull on a tarp, lol - how cool!

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

Great tips Vik and as you know, I too love my magazines. Most of mine are still boxed waiting for the new studio to be built but imagine how delightful it will be when I rediscover them again!
Hugs ~ Kerryanne

Anne Thompson said...

What a great post Vikki - love all your tips!

Jeanie said...

I'm like you, 'never cuts up my magazines, take projects out of them, or remove the ads' :)

Love the tips about the 'sticky notes'.

Thank you very much :)

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

I love the fabrid left-over, range and DMC threads. I don't know how many times I wish I had taken a not of the threads I had used:)
I don't have much trouble moving my pics, though they used to all have to sit at the top of my blog in whatever way I had downloaded them.
I still seem to take forever to write a blog.
My other problem is I have to get Kris to download my photos. He has shown me, but he's sooo quick I can never remember what he did. Its frustrating.

Love & Hugs,

Lovely message you left on my blog. An old boyfriend once said t me...Its like walking into the middle of a conversation (visiting my family that is). I guess it would be the same with yours.

Deb said...

Look at all those tips and tricks, what a wee whizz you are my dear. Blogger can be a pain in the butt at times can't it.
I am interested in what Vicki is telling you about, the windows live writer, so if you find out about it from her then you can teach all of us hun, that would be great, you've got plenty of time haven't you.......LOL LOL. jk xxxx

Maggi said...

Some good tips. I too cannot throw magazines away, there is always that feeling that someday I might just need one for that special project. I have started keeping all my fabric and supplies in see through boxes and I have been sooo tidy since, not to mention more productive!

Gill - That British Woman said...

what a great blog you have, just discovered it.

Gill in Canada, formerly from Cumbria

Cath Ü said...

I have the same problem with Blogspot... my solution... I now have a Typepad blog... so much easier.. but I still have my Blogspot one and it does seem to be easier to use now.....
cath Ü


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