Category Archives: Studio

New Year’s Resolution – 2014!

Dirty…Little…Secret:  (SHHHHH!)  I have not sat down and actually designed and made a card in MONTHS! …and why is that you may ask??? Welllll, besides the crazy non-stop work-teach-class project neverending cycle this fall, my studio is a MESS!  <sigh>  Not a single clear space to be seen.   This is just not conducive to making ANYTHING!  Besides a few monograms on scarves, there were no holiday gifts created, no holiday cards made or sent, no holiday decorations lovingly hung on a holiday tree…NADA!  Just happy all that craziness is OVER!  Time to MOVE ON to 2014!

So at the top of my NYR2014 List is (no surprise here):


(Photos to come soon – !)

How about you?

YouTube here I come!

“Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” Yoda

Well I did not try, I DID!  Nothing like jumping in the deep end!  I’ve recorded a video tour of my stamping studio (the stamping PART of my studio…).  No editing, WYSIWYG!


and my all-important stamping table!!!


Until next time…Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

Clean and Organized (where it counts)

This is one of those times when you say “take a picture QUICK, ’cause it may never look this good again!” LOL!  I have spent literally MONTHS re-organizing my studio.  It was so packed full of STUFF that my stamping area was actually about 1/6th of this table (that’s all that was CLEAR), with room for a chair.  YIKES!  I have cleared so much out that I actually have room to hold a CLASS.  I have 4 of these IKEA tables, and I can easily set 3 of them up now!  YAHOO!  (even the RUG is clean!!! – Thanks Charles!!!-my artist buddy down the hall pitched in to help at the 11th hour)

I still have MUCH to do, but to have this area clear gave me such a breath of RELIEF!  I can even say that the end is in SIGHT! 

I have some gallery showcases that I thought I was going to have to unload, but another friend had a brainstorm and they are BACK!  I’ve covered them with a black tablecloth and set up my displays


for Sale-a-bration,






the Occasions Mini


and the IB&C …and “SUCCESS” magazine front and center, just in case someone MIGHT be interested in becoming a demo:-).

I was soooo glad that I thought of this, because I think it really impressed my first workshop visitors!




Until the next post…Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

A historic building and a surprise!

Have I mentioned that I have an AWESOME studio?  It is quite large and housed in a sprawling, VERY industrial and Historic factory, Crown Cork & Seal.  Some buildings on the property date back to 1892, the founding of Crown Cork & Seal Company in Baltimore, MD.  Originally the company invented a method of sealing bottles.  During prohibition, they switched from capping beer bottles to capping soda bottles to stay in business.  Following new inventions in sealing tin cans, several mergers and aquisitions, and expansion of operations worldwide, the headquarters was moved to Philadelphia in 1958.  I’m not sure when they completely moved their operations out of the Baltimore plant, but the current owners have built artist and artisan studios among other various tenants in many of the buildings.  One building has 6 FLOORS! 

My studio has a wall of Windows – 133 in fact – you can see what it looked like 3+ years ago, right before I moved in!  I’m sure they are the original windows, although my building is not one of the oldest ones.  I might add that the caulk, iron framing and brickwork is also original, so you can guess that it is far from airtight!  Winters can be chilllllly!  Funny things happen in old factories.  When it rains, the concrete actually SWEATS in the stairways and hallways.  We have freight train tracks on the front and back sides of the factory, and sometimes you are stuck trying to leave or enter as a train is STOPPED in front of the entrance.  I have twiddled my thumbs there for nearly an hour on occasion, and you really have to WEEDLE the guards to open the back gate at night if you are stuck.  The building actually SHAKES when a train goes by.  Normally you don’t even notice – it’s not like an earthquake.  But once in a while I see my printer table vibrating – kind of CREEPY, especially after the earthquake we had this fall!  aaaaannnnddd…. yes, there is a POLTERGEIST!  I am convinced!  One of my artist buds down the hall went up to the next floor – unused, but recently cleared of a lot of junk, dirt, pidgeon crap, etc.  He took a picture with his digital camera – and when he looked at the photo, there was a foggy CLOUD right in front of him.  No cloud in real life!  He took another, and the foggy cloud had moved to the left.  Again, no cloud in real life!  One more pic and the cloud was gone.  When he showed me the pics, HTG, there was a FACE in the cloud.  Yup, REALLY CREEPY!  So now when something goes missing that you JUST put down a few minutes ago, we blame our little Casper.  THAT took me a while to come to terms with and get comfortable again in my studio, let me tell you!

Until tomorrow…Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

Day 5 – Final Reveal (hint…for now)

The next few pics are the 12×12 paper storage – first up, DSP (Designer Series Paper).   When I first started buying paper (of course the CHEAPEST cost I could find), I could not fathom why ANYONE would want to buy 12 sheets of paper for $10!  After all, I was paying $10 (on 50% off sales) for packs of sometimes 100 or MORE sheets of paper!  THEN I actually caved and got a pack of Stampin’ Up DSP (maybe free with Sale-A-Bration?)  Well,  I have NEVER looked back.  Cute as some of that “contraband” is, it is very rare that I have to look outside of Stampin’ Up for DSP to design a card or project.  I have never been a scrapbooker, so maybe that is why I am not tempted, but even surfing blogs (MANY blogs…) there has only been one time that I have “fallen off the wagon”, so to speak (won’t go into that here, LOL! … you can email me if you are REALLY THAT CURIOUS!!!!)  Even the SU DSP has gotten a bit out of hand.  I did have it all organized; made little tabs with the tab punch and labeled them, sorted them (alphabetically of course)…annnnnddd…. you can still see the vestiges of this system on the back HALF of this basket!!! (oh dear…)

Next up… Decor Elements!  Yippee – actually something CURRENT right in front! (see the red heart???)  I have great intentions to use these products.  Actually used “So many toys, so little time” Decor element on the back of my old van (Vincent VanGO), but, sadly, Vinnie went over the Rainbow Bridge (well, not LITERALLY), and had to be replaced by Vinnie II.  Wish we still had that one current!  My Studio outside wall has the “Go in the direction of your dreams” quote.  All the rest??? Right here where I can find them! <sigh>

Last basket up, the 12×12 solid plain and textured cardstock.  I really do not use this much, so, as you can see, not a full basket!


Just a couple more bits to wrap up this storage extravaganza… Here are the embossing folders (note the price and year on the front one!).  For a while I was storing 2 or 3 in one of our clear-mount stamp cases (I have found soooo many uses for these!).  Now we have so many I am just putting my labels on the front (folder name, price and year it was current), and storing them (yes, alphabetically) in a wooden CD box (from Michaels or Joanns).



Last, but certainly not LEAST, is my sponge dauber storage!  I asked other demonstrators if they had a dauber for every color stamp pad, and most said no, that they wash them out and reuse.  Good advice.  BUT I am a lazybones stamper – I would rather STAMP than spend time washing OUT these little buggers (plus it seemed like such a waste of ink!), so I just have TONS of them – use them with our shimmer paint and spritz, too.  (Really, they never did get WHITE again, so I just LABEL them with the color and move ON.)

One of our demonstrators offered up these lovely little containers for sale and I JUMPED on them!  Even gave them for gifts to a little stamping group I belong to (Shout OUT to the Sassy 6!)

Well that wraps it up for now… I do have some more über organizational ideas for a future post…but now it is time to move on to….


My Stamping Workshop on January 29th (Tomorrow’s Post!) at Studio Stampalooza!

Thanks for holding up through the BIG REVEAL!…

until next time, Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

Day 4 – are we STILL Revealing????

well, yeeeeesssss (it is a BIG studio!)

This is pretty much the one exception to my “gotta see everything” rule – Ribbon Storage. I have been accumulating these boxes for ribbon for a couple of years. The first ones I actually punched holes in the front to feed the ribbon through. That just got annoying, since ALL the ribbon in the box wanted to turn and feed at the same time as the one I wanted! (silly ribbon!)

SO, I have the types of ribbon separated by box, and, thanks to Mr. PTouch, all the colors listed (alphabetically) on the sides. This isn’t a PERFECT solution, but it seems to be working right now. I also PIN each loose end down with one of those pins that have the little ball at the end. No more escapees from MY ribbon storage! I do have some of the expired colors mixed with the current ones, and that gives me pause once in a while – have to pull out the catty to make sure I am using something current for a SU project, and I may go with a red dot or something on the label for current colors if this becomes a problem.

Now, I ask you, is this a cool image or not? YIKES I have a lot of wheels. And, I admit it, sometimes I don’t even use the handle! I ink it up on the inkpad and hold the spindle on each side and roll that baby across the paper by HAND! By the way, these STILL have to be put in alpha order :-(, so no sniping at me if you can read the labels and they are out of order!!! This is a thread holder from Joann’s Fabrics and the wheels will fit (tightly) on every other peg, even the jumbo ones! The RACK they are hung from is probably the thing I am MOST excited about since I revamped the studio. I inherited THREE very heavy steel retail racks, 4 sided, on WHEELS (I actually squeeled when I thought of this solution!!). So I can turn it 360 and I have the SU wheels on 2 sides, and…..

PUNCHES on the 3rd side!!! I am BESIDE myself with JOY! LOL! The fourth side I have SU bags and my Simply Scored Scoring Tool (in it’s own little SU bag), and a few other sundry things. I am telling you this is da BOMB!

…aaannnddd I still have 2 of these racks UNUSED! I am willing to Sell them to someone who is as crazed over organization as I am – for a very good price. However, you will probably have to live nearby as they are HEA-VY! The other two have been taken apart, but are easy to put back together – just a few bolts do the job. Any takers?

Well, one more day of reveal and then the samples for next weekend’s workshop…

until next time, Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

Day 3 of the REVEAL!

Die Storage!

As I you may have noticed, I am a VERY visual person!, i.e., out of sight, out of mind.  Thus I like my supplies RIGHT OUT THERE IN FRONT OF ME!  Stampin’ Up does sell BOXES for the Sizzix dies, but I do prefer this “contraband” method.  It is made by Sizzix, and I look for the 50% off sales, since I am up to FOUR levels of this carousel!  These are the BIGZ size dies.  The BIGZ L and XL I have just stacked across a shelf.

Oh- that cellophane wrapping?….yup, not touched a piece of cardstock YET.  Embarrassing it is.  Well, eventually these WILL get used, even if they are officially retired by the time I use them.  I have really been spreading my crafty wings this winter, and dusted off many a tool and supply to get inky, gluey and sometimes covered with GOLD LEAF!

Grunge/Shabby Chic is not my strong suit, but it was fun!  I made some holiday decor for xmas presents during “Pat’s Christmas Craft Week” here in the studio.  (I think the recipients don’t know quite what to make of my creations, because it has been veeeeerrrryyy quiet since they were gifted! LOL!)

BUT, I digress…Last, but not least, is my Sizzlet storage…

Aren’t these CUTE??? Again, made by Sizzix for the 3 sizes of Sizzlets, even the strips have a box!


Only a few more days of Studio reveal left, then on to the projects for my Jan 29th Workshop here at Studio Stampalooza!

until then, Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

Day 2 of the Reveal!

Forging Ahead!!! Here are some more previews of Studio Stampalooza!

This was an Ikea CD stand, purchased at deeeeeep discount!  Wish I had a few more to match!  I loved the way Stampin’ Up displayed background stamps on a picture in one of the Stampin’ Success Mags, so they all have escaped from their little clamshell cases and reside HERE!

I have started a system of printing PTouch labels with the year the stamp is introduced and if it was in one of the mini or SAB cattys.  I’m also doing a label with the price of the stamp, so when.that.time.comes…. (ahem!) I will not have to spend HOURS researching the orig. price!

Here is the AWESOME paper storage system for cardstock.  I struggled with this until I found some baskets at Michaels that fit perfectly.  The dividers are from Staples, and my little PTouch labels (OMG I should by STOCK in PTouch!) have all the paper sorted alphabetically.  That is the ONLY way I can find the colors.  The color families might be nice if you can REMEMBER them, but my brain is old and EVERYTHING is sorted alphabetically in my studio.  I also keep the paper in its cellophane wrapper, JUST to make sure I have the right color.  Guessing is a slippery slope around here.  Found a bit of pinkish paper last week to make a label on a card, then decided it was also going to be the card base color.  hmmmm. pink pirouette?  no.  blushing bride?  no.  GACK! it turned out to be MAUVE MIST!! sooooo retired! (Well it is a lovely color anyway!)

You know I have also found that the light WILL fade the color on the card stock, so keeping the plastic wrapper on, I hope, will prevent that from happening before I use the paper up.

Just so’s you know, these are all the current colors, I keep the retired colors separate.  I am too much of a magpie to offload the retired supplies at new catty time, especially since I am lucky enough to have lots of storage space in my studio.  Once all is organized, however, this.may.change.  Believe it or not, I do think one can have TOO MUCH PAPER!!!  It is heavy and, with me, out of sight is out of mind, so when it is retired, it tends not to get used, and I continue to buy MORE.  So this may be the first area to DESTASH!  Yes, I really think I CAN let it GO!

Well, until next time, Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!

WHEW, I’m Here!

Well, in spite of myself, I am up and running.  This site might change over the course of the month, but I must start somewhere!  The good news is that my studio revamp is nearly done and I am preparing for my first in-house WORKSHOP!  woowoo!

Here are some previews of the “organized” areas –

Ink_pad_storage                                Clear Mount Storage


Buttons                                                   VINTAGE & Current wood blocks!

Yes, folks, this last pic is my WALL O’ STAMPS!

When I discovered Stampin Up I went WILD over the gazillion images available – thanks mostly to EBAY.  I have managed to get that bad habit down to a squeak now, and as you can see by my clear-mount storage, I have converted because it saves SO MUCH SPACE!  I can envision a time when I will release a great number of these stamps back to EBAY-Land and some lucky newbie stamper with the stampin-craze can win them back.  But.not.just.yet. <sigh>

More pics to be revealed over the next few days, and then the project reveal for my first workshop in Studio Stampalooza coming right up – Sunday, January 29th!

Until then….Keep Calm and Find Yourself a Rubber Stamp!