Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Organizing Stencils for a Better World

Okay so that might have totally been one of those lame attempts to shock people into reading my blog and I really do apologize (kind of), but if you are here because of it, you may thank me later.

When life gives me lemons, I grab the vodka and the sugar and get on the whole lemon drop thang (totally INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY of course) And after that, when chaos still ensues, I have to bring some kind of order back to my life.  The easiest way for me to fix that is to ORGANIZE (see boys and girls, it is NOT a four letter word at all). Organizing gives my mind something to focus on instead of the negative (HA, you thought I was going to use yet another cheap ploy and put INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY didn't you??)  I love to organize and think I do a pretty dang good job of it.  My theory is "a place for everything and everything in its place." I am brave enough to chuck it if it doesn't have somewhere to go or a use (just ask my ex-husband!!  BADA BING...it had to be said!).  Craft supplies can be both easy and hard to organize.  WOW!! Vague much?  It can be difficult when crafters try to conform to the ways that others structure their mother load of supplies as opposed to the way that they craft.  HUGE MISTAKE!  BIG!  All the candy stations and Ikea shelving units mean nothing if they aren't helping you get creative and crafty every single day.  You have to think about your crafty style...are you color driven, theme obsessed, collection enthusiastic, in the holds of company products etc, etc, and that should drive how you on how to organize in a way that is meaningful and useful to YOU!!

That's it!  Done.  End of the blog post.  Did it make your world better?  Even though I am really kidding about the blog being done, remember we already settled the fact that I was using sensationalism to get you here.  And you were okay with that and forgave me.  And for that, I appreciate you :)

But seriously, I do have a suggestion for stencils that may (or may not) help you.  And if it doesn't, no worries!  If you don't craft like me and this doesn't work for you, I would love to hear how you organize your stencils.

Since life has thrown me some lemons as of late and I have indeed been doing some soul searching organization projects and creative therapy.  Here is what I have come up with in regards to those aforementioned stencils:

These are all of my smallish stencils.  By smallish, I mean less than 12x12.  My 12x12s hang on a separate ring.  I did punch holes in the corners of all the stencils that didn't already have an appropriate place to shove the binder ring through. I am totally okay with the extra hole in my stencil.  If I am using spray inks and don't want that hole to get all inky, I just place a piece of always handy painter's tape over it.  I know this is completely freaking some of you out because I have ripped these from their comfortable homes and haven't a clue as to who belongs to what and what companies to attribute to each one.  Well, hold on just a second...

Because there is also THIS:

On another handy dandy little binder ring, there is an index of all of my stencils.  And at the bottom of each is the title, the company they came from and, if it is a 12x12 I write that down too. This little gem is a winner winner chicken dinner because, not only does it keep track of the stencils I have (and can possibly fit into my purse should I need to take it to the store with me), but it also lets me know what they will look like once they are used with whatever creative yummy I put with it.  With some stencils, I get all kinds of confused with the positive versus the negative and what will actually come out as the end result.  

These handy dandy stencil holders and index all hang from an "arm"  on my studio wall.  Behind my main working desk I have a floor to ceiling peg board that is perfect for such items.  I find myself using my stencils a ton more than when they were stuck flat in a drawer.  So for me, being able to reach back, grab my stencils or my index and use them immediately without doing a lot of digging WORKS.  This organizational tip is a keeper for me!  Would it work for you??  Think about it before you rush out and do it.  If it doesn't and you find something else that does, I would love to hear about it.  In the meantime, I will totally be working on some mixed media canvases that include stenciling INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  Or if the lemons keep coming, I may have some more organizational tips to try INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY too! 
As always, thanks for checking me out!!