Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Clean Your Craftiness!

Yesterday was the first day of spring.  Down here in the South, that often means lots of open windows to air out the house, yard work to get everything ready for the growing season, and, of course, spring-cleaning.  Like many of you, I’ve started some of my own spring-cleaning projects, including an overhaul of my craft studio. 

My busy winter schedule had left my poor room looking like it had been turned upside down and shaken like a snow globe. It was such a mess that I couldn’t even hold any classes!  So one week (including several really long nights) later, I feel like I have a whole new room, just waiting for me to do some crafting!  Now for those of you who are familiar with this space, it may look like the same old room, but if you had seen it last week, you’d know I wasn’t kidding about the state it was in.  And even though it looks like a cleaner version of the room I had before, just about everything in the drawers, stored in tubs and on the shelves is in a different place.

Die cutting and stamping supplies

The Crafty Neighbor Prize Vault!  There's some cool stuff in those boxes!
For the moment, I have lots of sticky notes stuck on everything to remind me what goes where.  My next project is to make some real labels for all the drawers and bins.  I'm thinking something cute and crafty!

So why did I rearrange things and how did it get so messy in the first place?  The key lies in usage.  Over time, our needs, our projects, our ideas, and even our styles change.  (Just go back to those very first scrapbooking pages you made if you need proof!)  When I first planned my room, it was the perfectly organized space for what I was doing at the time, but since then, my needs for that space have changed.  I bought new tools and supplies.  I quit using some items and went back to using some I hadn’t used in a while.  I started working on different kinds of projects.  I even changed the where and when that I craft. 

After years of searching for the “perfect” organization system and trying out every storage method known to man, I have finally come to the conclusion that there really is no perfect space, no perfect method, no perfect solution.  Everything is constantly in flux, always changing and moving in different directions just as surely as the earth circles the sun and the seasons change. As humans, we live in cycles of birth, growth, and decline.  We have rhythms that dictate our sleep and every other function of our bodies.  So it only makes sense that crafting works in cycles too.  If winter is the time for reflection and resolutions where we make promises to do more and we look forward to what the new year will bring, then spring is the time to refresh, renew, and revitalize our workspace, our styles, our supplies, and even our attitudes about scrapbooking.

Along with my new craft space and my renewed desire to get busy and create stuff, I have also refreshed the way I will go crop.  In the past, I always took a lot of projectes and supplies with me to my weekday Mother’s Day Out crop, but no more.  My new goal will be to try and take as little as possible in the way of tools and supplies – something kind of similar to my road trip scrap kit.  The ideas is to have a single bag containing my tools and another bag to hold my paper and supplies while I work on one project such as a themed album or a home décor project.  I want to keep it simple, quick and easy.  I want to be portable.  I want to get the projects done and not waste so much time waffling over which stamp to use or what font looks best.  All this renewed energy makes me want to craft every day.  I think that's something left over from the LOAD challenge.  It doesn't have to be a big project or even a page, I just want to do something crafty every single day.

It's all about renewal.  Rebirth.  Reinventing ourselves and the way we craft.  In the spirit of renewal and revitalization, the rest of this month's blog posts will focus on some spring-themed projects and some repeats and continuations of the spring-cleaning posts.  I am also trying to determine how many people might interested in having a scrapbooking garage sale?  If we can find a location, would you be interested in participating as a seller?  Send us an email at  It would be a great way to rid yourself of some of those old tools you never use any more, plus you can shop the sale yourself and maybe come home with some new toys to play with yourself!  Talk about giving new life to old tools!  Leave a comment and tell us about some ways you are keeping your craft fresh and new this year.


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