Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Organize It Tuesday: Bags & Bins Part Two

For those of you who haven't read the previous post, I recommend reading Part One first.

Now, the boring "where did I get this stuff from" part!

I purchased the bins at the Dollar Tree near my house. They all came with a white lid. Each lidded bin cost me, you guessed it, one dollar. I dislike lids so I have them in a big tote somewhere. These bins hold up well. The plastic they're made of, paired with the labels I adore using (Up & Up brand from Target), make for an easy clean. Messed up a label? Added something not listed? Peel off the label with ease and slap on a new one.

At the same store, I purchased a box of 60 resealable sandwich baggies for one dollar. I went through most of the box, roughly 50 bags, and had about seven to ten casualties. These bags are inexpensive, and they are cheap. It took me tearing three bags in a row to realize that the plastic used is thin and the seal is tough to open without using fingernails. However, once I figured that out, I was able to safely open the remaining bags without any further casualties.

The Dollar Tree is my first stop half the time when I get into an organizational mood. They have bins, baskets, supplies, and so much more. Plus, one dollar for every individual item means I'm spending significantly less half the time. I do compare prices, so I tend to avoid certain things.

Okay, on to organizing!

I grouped the items I used in these bins by similarity. Initially they were organized by stage (bags hold gifts; tape and stickers decorate bags; ribbon and twine tie it all up nicely). Now they are in groups halfway between similarity and stage. 

All the ribbons, garlands, and twine and ornaments go together. I separated each into their own set of bags. Ribbons in one, garlands in another, twine wrapped around tags went into a bag whereas the spools stayed out, etc.

The stickers and washi tape and fabric tapes are adhesive backed, and therefore go together as decorative adhesive options. Circle stickers of all sizes and patterns go in one bag, separated within that bag by smaller jewelry baggies. Hearts go with hearts. Scallops with scallops. Squares with squares. And then oddly shaped stickers go in a baggie together.

If you're wondering what baggies I don't recommend, please avoid buying the snack bags as they fit awkwardly in the sandwich bags. They needed to be cut or folded and become unnecessarily bulky. Plus, even though they're clear, they have a slight discoloration when stacked. Labels only help so much.

I do recommend what I bought. A box of several hundred small jewelry/bead baggies from JoAnn's. They're in the jewelry section, which is almost always on sale, so these reasonably priced baggies cost even less with the sale discount and a coupon. I think I paid three dollars for a box of 500 baggies, 2.5"x4" or something around there. 

I used those little bags initially for my in progress jewelry projects, then my in progress jewelry projects while I was at craft shows, then bead storage, then I gave some to friends to package up their sold jewelry... I realized I had so many remaining, I could use them for other supplies!

Finally, the last bin! Bags and clothespins! Sorted by type (glassine, itty bitty bags, cello, resealable, etc.) makes my life easier. I can clearly see the different sizes grouped together, and the clothespins all go together.

Please note that the items you see in these bins are only some of my crafting supplies. I have tons of other boxes, bins, carriers, shelves, and bags I use to store my supplies, most of which are able to be used for snail mail. 

I am very lucky to have access to these items, which is why I am so happy to do swaps or just Random Acts of Kindness to those in need of some supplies. I am a supply hoarder, and that's not right to the people who have limited funds or limited access to supplies.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today's post. Onward, my fellow organizers!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Must Have Monday: Stationery Part One

This post is a bit obvious. We can write letters in a variety of ways. With pen, pencil, marker, typewriter, computer, magazine or newspaper clippings, and so much more, we create beautiful correspondence with strangers who then become friends. Since there are so many ways to transform a letter, I have broken up this topic into several posts. Please enjoy part one!

This is a writing set. It comes with envelopes and stationery paper. I like writing sets that include a small sampling of items.

This set comes with 60 sheets of paper and 30 envelopes. The paper looks beautiful, and of course there are owls involved. 

My inner writer craves this set! It includes just what I like, which is a small sampling of everything.

I love sewn stationery sets, so this one is perfect for my crafty side.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 1/21/13-1/27/13


Two packages from Etsy!

A bunch of letters! One from Chelsea, Miri, Delaney, and Desirae. =)

A cute letter from Suzanne!

A postcard from Theresa and a lovely letter from Naiche! =)

Three more Etsy packages!

Another Etsy package! =)


A letter headed to Michele! =)

A letter on the way to Sydney.

A letter for Svetlana. =)

A letter for Dena.

A letter for Moira. Sorry, Moira, but I think I responded twice to you!

One letter heading to Winslow! =)

A package going to an Etsy customer!

Chelsea's letter! =)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stick It Up Saturday: Toning It Down

I'm going to have to slow it down on these Saturday posts. I just realized how busy my weekends are getting! And this site doesn't allow me to plan more than three or four posts in advance. So I might post these Saturday inspiration boards less frequently. I hope that doesn't bother anyone!

The first post for inspiring things was very bright, very pink, and very packed. I wanted to tone it down a bit with the following picture.

These are the pieces I received this past week that made my heart ache in the best way. Shown are the following:

  • Brown Kraft wrapping paper
  • Cream cardstock envelopes with handmade heart stickers
  • Oval Paris parcel post stickers
  • Colorful sequins
  • Brown Kraft paper bag with black and white striped washi tape
  • Scattered heart cut-outs
  • A letter from Naiche
  • Bookmark from The Fox & the Teacup
  • Robot stickers from The Fox & the Teacup

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shop Friday Feature: Inkkit

Today features Inkkit, a shop on Etsy that will require pictures to describe. From incredible photography of beautiful products, to adorable packaging of said products, well, take a look.

DISCLAIMER: All images included in this post belong to Inkkit.

I have ordered from Inkkit several times. At first glance, I fell in love. The photos of each item are so meticulously crafted. Flawless. Cohesive. Exceptional. These are the words that come to mind once my brain starts working again. The pictures are just that wonderful. Below are just a few. Honestly, I couldn't decide which photos were the best.

I stopped myself at three. That last picture is tissue confetti. Can you believe that? So perfect!

My first order contained a tin of these adorable stained mini clothespins. They arrived sealed in a tin, with a sticker, in a little bag, in a little kraft bag, sealed with washi tape. My heart didn't stop pounding for a solid five minutes, I'm sure. It was like opening a gift made especially for me!

I love glassine everything. When I saw this picture, I knew I had to buy the glassine envelopes. At $3 for ten envelopes, tacking on an additional .50 shipping, I was in heaven. I found a tutorial at one time to make clear envelopes, and even though I tried, they looked pretty awful. I'll try again someday, but in the meantime, I'll totally, completely suffer with these glassine envelopes. Seriously, I'm suffering over here. Totally.

My favorite color is grey. I love grey, and I love miniature versions of big things. With those two things in mind, it's almost as if these little grey envelopes were made for me. $3 for ten, plus .50 shipping, and once more I am ecstatic!

Silver doilies. I never realized how epic doilies were until I saw someone use them in a tutorial. White ones are nice, but silver? I fell in love. Ten doilies for $3.50 plus $1 shipping seemed quite reasonable to me. The only issue? I don't think I'll be able to part with them. They are just that gorgeous!

Lastly, we have the full half ounce of rainbow sequins. Just look at that color range! Look at the details of this one photo! $3 plus $2 shipping? Done. No questions asked.

Okay, I have to literally force myself to shut the tabs so I stop staring at the pictures in the shop. I'm great for business, but my wallet frowns at me constantly. So we can easily remedy this situation by all you lovely viewers going to purchase something from Inkkit!

Remember, these pictures depict exactly what you'll receive in terms of the exact product, but when you receive your package? It's a complete surprise. I knew what I bought the last time, and opening each item was so special for me. It was incredible. If every Etsy experience was like this, I'd be so broke.

So what are you waiting for? Go make your mailbox happy! Buy Inkkit products!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wrap That Wednesday: My Packaging

Okay, so I am by no means an expert in any of these focused posts I've been working on lately. I am, however, somewhat of an artist, if inexperienced. I am inspired, and that turns any person into an artist if they pursue their chosen outlet.

I am also not selflessly promoting, here. I honestly thought I had come up with a cute way to package my items after I saw a ton of different shops and purchased a lot of orders. So the following is a mixture of pictures from shops and pictures I took. They will show you all the things I plan to include in my packaging.

These red tags will have a handwritten thank you note and coupon code.

Although my glassine bags will not contain the adorable Made with Love tags and clothespins shown here, I plan on decorating these with a sticker and filling them with some goodies!

Confetti has a special place in my heart. Now these will have a special place in my product packaging.

This is the packaging I did for my first custom Valentine's Day Coupon Envelope order of 2013. As you can see, washi tape, baker's twine, and tissue paper are present, alongside a handmade envelope.

This is the packaging I did for the order I received today for a Valentine's Day Coupon Envelope. A different blend of colors and patterns. White tissue paper with rainbow glitter, red heart washi tape, red and white striped itty bitty bag hand-stamped with my business logo and a wish.

This is what half my packages look like on the outside when they head out.

What is your favorite way to wrap something?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Organize It Tuesday: Bags & Bins Part One

I apologize for the delay with this post. I had a five-hour driving class and hadn't thought out how much time photographing supplies would take between helping a new friend start a local crafting group, revamping my Etsy shop, taking a new custom order, and preparing for my business workshop tomorrow morning. Time flies when you're having fun!

So, for those of you who read my titles, you'll notice this is Part One of the Bags & Bins "Organize It Tuesday" segment. I am doing a general overview of bins. I'll go into more detail next Tuesday in Part Two. Hopefully by then I will have all my bags labeled, too! I am headed to the store tonight to buy some craft supplies, so hopefully I won't need a second stop at a different store.

I use hanging closet organizers in my craft room to help me organize my go-to supplies. These three bins helped me survive the 2012 holiday season, but let me tell you they were nowhere near as neat as they are now. Initially, they were piled high with all the important supplies for gift-wrapping and snail mail. Operative word: piled.

Close-up of the labels on the bins, but not in the correct order.

This is an overhead view of what goes in the bins. 
Translation: clear bags of colorful stuff.

This is the Lace through Garlands bin.

Lace through Garlands bin from the other side. You can see the ribbon, trim, and baker's twine here.

Close-up of the Glassine through Clothespins bin.

Another view of the Glassine through Clothespins bin. This shows the doilies, confetti, bags, and clothespins, as well as my business stamp a friend carved for me, and the ink pad that goes with it.

Lastly, the Stickers through Tape bin!

All the washi tape, fabric tape, and Etsy-made stickers I own are in this bin. But I have more stickers in boxes, which will be shown in a few weeks.

I am going to cut this post "short" here and give you all the organizing and buying specifics next week Tuesday in Bags & Bins Part Two!

See you then!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Must Have Monday: Letter Organizer

I am horribly obsessed with letter organizers. I find them completely lacking realistic function for my personal use, but I know others use them without complaint. After a quick search of Etsy for some cute organizers, I came to the conclusion that I might only purchase one because it was adorable.

This mustache letter organizer is the only letter organizer I'd buy...because it's a mustache. However, it's $28.00 with $10.00 shipping, and it's from Australia. Have I mentioned how impatient I am? I will stare at this picture with sorrow in my heart.

This three-tiered organizer is $12 plus $10 shipping, and has a gorgeous design. This is significantly more useful for me. Three sections? Incoming. Read--Must Respond. Outgoing. 

I love the slots in this organizer. The pattern and color? Not so much. I'd have plenty of room for a bunch of snail mail items, plus the three spaces in the front for my three sections. This costs $18 with $9 shipping.

Just because I am all for the repurposing of vintage vinyl records, I had to post this $28 with $9 shipping beauty! Some of you may be screaming at the screen, "How could someone destroy a record?!" If that's the case, I won't tell you what I do with my records from the thrift stores. It's worse than the tiny folds this organizer has.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday to Sunday Haul: 1/14/13-1/20/13


A sweet holiday card from my swap partner from Swap-Bot, and a wonderfully exceptional package from La Papierre on Etsy. =)

A lovely letter from Michele.

Letters from Dena, Svetlana, and Sydney. =)

A letter from Moira.


This is a package heading out to a woman who ordered a Valentine's Day Coupon Envelope from my Etsy shop. The outside is mostly plain because the envelope is firetruck red. I tried to tone it down with some blue tape. She's in for a surprise once she opens it up! =)

A letter headed to Carolina.

A surprise and a letter for Stephanie! =)