Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Catching up on the To Do list

Ah, the To Do list. Nothing about fixing up, or cleaning up, the condo - no way...that is a TOTALLY separate list! I am talking about the stamping-related To Do list that I make every year and never get to. I target that down-time in the craft-show world between January 1st and April or May, when, in theory, I am house-bound evenings and weekends and should be able to focus. Right.

Living in a tiny condo has its good points and bad points. The good points include being affordable and easy-to-clean. The bad points include only one bathroom, no third bedroom to dedicate to crafts, and too much stuff to fit inside the four walls. Thus, again in theory, I should be really organized to be able to maximize the available space. Oh, that is sooo funny.

I am really a very organized person, though you could not tell that by looking at my desk at work, or at my work table here at home. But do not touch that pile o'stuff - I know where everything is!

So one of the things on my list was to create an inventory of all my Stampin' Up! sentiment stamps. I found myself saying I knew I had a Hello stamp but could never remember what set it was in. My solution - inventory them. Not all the stamps, just the sentiments. Here it is, July 4th, and I finally got to it. Actually it is more like creative avoidance, since I should be cutting card stock for this weekend's workshops.

In what I call a Good Demo moment, I ordered the 5x5 Journal from a recent Mini Catalog so my customers could touch-and-feel it. I have seen so many good ideas on SCS using the journal that I thought, "Some day ...".

After 70+ of my sets retired this year, and my stamp-set inventory dwindled to a manageable number, I thought it would be an excellent time to do that inventory. My new stuff has not arrived yet, so in theory (there it is again) this should be easy.

I grabbed the 5x5 journal and laid out A Plan. I'd use retired 12x12 card stock from one of my many Must-Have packs o'card stock, then make page tabs using the round tab punch. I also cut up a bunch of extra pages out of Very Vanilla and punched the holes with the Spiral punch. Very easy! I decided to have a page per letter of the alphabet. Perfect.

Then, one at a time, I took out my stamp sets with sentiments and images, and stamped each sentiment on its appropriate page. Under each sentiment I wrote (or is that scrawled) the name of the set from which it came. I also added a circled 'R' if it was a retired set.

Then I started in on the word-only sets and tackled them. I had to add a lot of pages for 'H', and - just in case you care - we (I) have no 'K', 'Q' or 'X' words yet.

Lastly, I decorated the outside and created the tabs for each letter. I used a retired alphabet because I HAVE NO UN-RETIRED ALPHABET SETS LEFT! Sigh.

[One of these days I'll figure out how to get Blogger to align my photos side-by-each ...]

So anyway, this is the finished product - cover and a sample inside page.

Not only do I stamp crooked, I also tend to be challenged sticking things on straight. The tabs are not neatly-aligned along the right side - oh, well. It's for me, and I can deal with it. Actually, most of my customers have learned to deal with it, too. At least they are still coming back! And their versions of anything I do can be straight. There is hope!

I just love that crab, so I had to use him. His set has so many sentiments, it made a good background for the cover decoration. I am really glad Stampin' Up! plans to bring him back in the Spring/Summer catalog.

Next up, I need to purchase another 5x5 journal so I can inventory my non-Stampin' Up! sentiments. I may actually need two journals to do that project - I have soooo many sentiments.

So I guess I'd better cut up that card stock for Sunday. Or maybe I'll make a few more Man Packs first. I will Show-and-Tell that project later.

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