My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1741: Organization

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-10-2016 12:20 PM 1215 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1740: A Little Break Part 1741 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1742: The Move is ON! »

As I mentioned before, the next several weeks will be quite busy for Keith and I. We are in the process of preparing to move in the next few weeks and there is a great deal of things we need to do. It isn't that we were unorganized while living in our current place, but rather that we are expanding our living space to nearly four times what we have today. Needless to say, we are beyond excited. 

While Keith and I think differently on several issues (and what couple doesn't?), one thing that we have in common is that we both love organization.  

(I can almost feel you cringing when I say that!)

Both of us believe in living in tidy surroundings where everything has its place not only is less stressful, but makes us happier and more productive. It is a way of life for both of us. 

I think that played a very important part in our decision to move. For years we made things work for us in our one bedroom place here. We practically had our organization down to a science. Even though we used the scroll saw in the corner of our kitchen to cut out our samples and work pieces, if you didn't know we did woodworking for a living, you would never realize it. Everything had its place and each time we planned a scroll saw session, we put everything away in its place, leaving the counters pretty much bare so that the clean up was relatively easy. It was a quick five minutes invested before cutting and probably 10 – 15 minutes afterword to get everything back in order. It worked well for many years. 

But lately, I have been very busy cutting painting surfaces and providing them for painters. As this has become a larger part of my business, it meant more time cutting and less time drawing and designing. The cutting sessions went from maybe once or twice a month into one full day or two per week – and more when I had new products introduced. This began to prove to be a bit of an inconvenience for us both. Not to mention the storage of the said wood pieces and other art supplies. 

It just didn't work anymore. 

A few months ago, we found a wonderful new place to live. It is right down the road from where we are now, which means we get to stay in our beautiful neighborhood near the river. The couple who owns the house is lovely and we seemed to hit it off right away. We needed a long-term commitment from them and they wanted someone who would take care of their property as if it were their own. It seems to be a 'perfect match.'  We made the commitment with them and began planning to move at the end of June, which is not quickly approaching. 

In moving to such a large area, there is much to be considered. Not only did I need to plan out my studio, but also our basement shop, our scrolling workshop that will be on the second floor and the possibility of using part of the barn later on for larger woodworking projects. It it quite exciting, but also has been very expensive and time-consuming. It all serves a great purpose though. By the time we are fully settled in, we will have not only a beautiful living area, but a wonderful work area as well. I am sure that will lead to better productivity. 

But for now, there is the 'storm before the calm'. Even though most of our things are in pretty good order, the issue of having too many 'things' without enough space has taken its toll on us. So before we make the move, we want to go through things and get everything in good order, so the move will be as seemless as possible. That takes time more than anything. 

I had began going through my ribbon and trims. I knew that was one thing that was an issue, as I purchased only a couple of meters at a time and  some were on spools and some were not and I had about 3-4 boxes that had pieces in them. When I pulled them out and put them all together, it was quite a mess:

No wonder I didn't really know what I had! I find that "not knowing" what you have is the most common reason we tend to over buy supplies. This had to be rectified!

When we were at Michael's craft store the other day, I saw these 13" x 13" scrap book paper boxes on sale for $5 each. I bought four of them, as I thought they would be great for holding a variety of supplies. They are only about 3" deep, so they will stack nicely as well in a cabinet. 

I used my scroll saw and created a nice, sturdy grid frame to put inside using 1/4" birch plywood.  I could have used 1/8" wood, but I wanted this to really be nice. I imagine that cardboard or foam board would also work if you don't have access to a scroll saw. 

I then used foam core board to cut some simple bobbins to wrap the trims and ribbon on. Again – I could have been fancy and cut a bunch from 1/8" stock on the scroll saw (I am not ruling that out for a later time!) but for now, I thought the foam would suffice. I used a T-square and Exacto knife to make the squares, and then ordinary household scissors to create the bow-shaped bobbins:

After nearly 2 days of winding (No – not continual, but probably about 6-8 hours realistically – I watched three of my favorite movies while I did it) here is what I now have:

Pretty slick, isn't it?? ;) 

As you can see, I need to use another box for the extras. Also, these are packed pretty tight,which means there is no room for adding more. (Let's be realistic – there WILL be more ribbon and trim added as we continue to work!) So the second box will be good for a while at least. 

Isn't this incredible??? It is funny how simple things make me happy. Now, when loooking for a certain color or type of ribbon, I only need to glance at my ribbon box and I will know immediately what I have on hand. No more sifting through different boxes and trying to find things through a tangled mess!  This size of grid and bobbins will accommodate many types of thread, ribbons and trims. You can use it for so many wonderful supplies and have them all at hand at a glance!

. . . and you all thought I have been 'slacking' because I haven't posted as much! ;)  . . . 

I hope this little post inspires you to think about your own supplies. It is actually not hard to do, and as I said – the foam board would also make wonderful dividers. If you wish, I will post the pattern on my site for the grid I created for this size box. Just let me know in the comments if you would like it and I will get it up there for you. 

We are only two weekends away from the actual move! The time will pass quickly I am sure but in other respects, not quickly enough. I hope that you enjoy me sharing our transition with you all and I also hope you get some organizational ideas from us that you can use yourself. It is a lot of fun really, and something that you won't regret investing your time doing. 

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Friday! :D

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

2 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 06-12-2016 01:13 PM

All I can say is, You’re both gonna luv that extra space.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3530 days

#2 posted 06-16-2016 11:36 AM

I think we will do great there, Roger! :) I can’t wait! :D


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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