JULY 2, 2011
Welcome to my Stampin' Pretty Ultimate Stampin' Zone. This project has evolved over several months from ideas used in my original stamping zone and loft, reader suggestions and lots of planning. This information will be available on my left side bar, too! I will do a detailed video tour in July, after the new Stampin' Up! 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog goes live and my stamps and accessories are restocked with new product.
Another angle of the desk. The little, blue printer stand (bottom right) is artfully covered with hummingbird decals. My daughter, Caroline (now 17), painted and decorated it for me when she was a wee one. It will ALWAYS blend with my d?cor 🙂
You're seeing the final results, a dream come true for me. I spent hours and hours budgeting and contemplating the design. I mapped things out looking for logic and convenience. For example, I grouped adhesives together in a deep drawer and within easy reach, Punches, stamps and ribbon require quick access and instant visibility. Wall racks were the perfect solution.
Why the mix of two wood (maple natural and maple brandy) colors on the cabinets? Simply for a little artistic variation and it didn't cost a dime more. Plus, it's a craft room . . . a good spot for a trendy switch up! Did you notice that I swapped countertop colors, too?
PLANNING YOUR OWN SPACE?
- Think about your available space, what will fit and where. My space measures 18 x 11. However, it's not just about floor space, but available wall space, too.
- Set a realistic budget. I almost gave up on the project after getting "budget busting" bids on the countertops and cabinets from "big box" stores. Fortunately, I found a local kitchen place that offered wood laminate (real maple sheets over melamine boxes and doors) that saved me 30 to 50% over the other bids. Back on track!
- Many of the rack and storage options (see ideas throughout this post) can be purchased very inexpensively.
- Establish your needs. List all your craft products and create a basic map BEFORE you start a cabinet design.
- How do you "roll?" I work left to right and revamped my first plan because I realized I simply couldn't do the reverse (right to left).
- My Cutting Zone (paper, punches, Big Shot, tool "chest") is to the left of my drop down workspace. The Stamping Zone (stamps, ink pads and markers) and finishing touches (embellishments, heat embossing, etc.) are to the right. I use the products the most that are closest to my work area.
- What's your comfort level? Both my desk and drop down work space (where I'm likely to sit) are at a height of 30" (standard desk height). The balance of the counter space is bumped up 36" to gain more storage space (higher base cabinets) and is more comfortable when I stand and create.
- Consider lighting . . . lots of it. I added natural light (solar tubes), track lighting on the ceiling and undercabinet (fluorescent) lighting above my workspace.
- Don't forget to budget for the potential costs of an electrician. You may need to move existing outlets and switches to conform with your layout.
TUCKED AWAY SPACES
Big Shot Dies (located in a drawer immediately left of my drop down work space) are easy to identify when stored in Stampin' Up! die storage inserts. Two Large Inserts (#120801) are used in the photo above. I also use the Small Insert (#120802) to store my smaller Sizzlits and Embosslits Dies (the drawer above–not shown).
Adhesives need to be "on call" at all times. Different types (Sticky Strip, Mini Glue Dots, Snail, Stampin' Dimensionals) for different purposes are located together to the right of my drop down work space.
When I learned that the Stampin' Up! cutting mat (which I use daily) was retiring, I began a search for a replacement. Boy, is there a wide world of self-healing cutting mats. I found this big, beautiful 36" x 18" cutting mat by Alvin on-line. Just google–lots of places sell it. There are loads of sizes to fit your space and even a few color choices. Mine is black but flips to green (maybe for the holidays?).
Let's take a look at where this journey began. I have shared much of the following with you during the process on my Stampin' Pretty Blog and on my Stampin' Pretty Facebook Page. As I promised, it's now consolidated in one spot for you. The Ultimate Stampin' Zone will continue to be updated with more organizational ideas and tips in the future.
MAY 14, 2011: IT STARTED WITH A PEEPHOLE . . .
It started recently with the "peephole" in my ceiling above. After much discussion, budgeting and planning, I decided to revamp my current stamping space into something much more efficient (more storage and counter space, quick access), permanent (installed cabinets) and filled with fun organizational ideas.
The picture above represents the first sign of light . . . literally. I wanted more natural light and have installed two 14" solar tubes in my stamping space (the loft was too dark). Talk about "seeing the light!" "Sky" (seriously, that's his name–how appropriate for a skylight guy) peeks through from my roof after the first full hole is cut.
I'll be using many of the ideas I learned from creating my original stamping zone and loft, PLUS introducing new ideas (many from readers) to make my Ultimate Stamping Zone journey complete. Be ready to share advice as I'll look to you for input, too, along the way. I still have plenty of decisions to make (paint colors or new ways to store ribbon, for example). Ideas will be rolling while the dust flies on both on my Stampin' Pretty Blog and my Stampin' Pretty Facebook Fan Page. STAY TUNED.
Even Isabel (my very social pug) gets in on the action. She's digging the brighter space. The noise sent our new kitty, Sasha, to a quiet reprieve in the tv chest.
MAY 17, 2011: WAITING ZONE–FEELING DISPLACED
Welcome to my new stamping space. LOL! I announced on my blog on Saturday that I'm in the process of revamping my stamping space to gain more counter space, storage space and pursue the the ultimate organization (at least that's the goal) of all my Stampin' Up! inks, tools, paper, ribbons and more.
However, I'm in the "awkward" stage where the previous space has evaporated (thanks to Craig's List) and a makeshift stamping spot (card table for stamping and the floor for storage) present their challenges. At least my new maple floors are in. Loving them.
My pug Isabel enjoys them, too. Meanwhile, I'm planning my paint colors, hired an electrician to move my electrical outlets (counter height) and have the cabinet order rolling. The date for cabinet/counter delivery is the second week of June. I'll be exploring options and sharing lots more organizational tidbits until then.
The big question: Will I be able to endure the chaos until then? Let's just say, I don't do well with chaos or clutter. Sasha found refuge on top of my tv cabinet when the floors were installed. She appeared more relaxed (below) when I was videotaping my new on-line class. I had to use our master bedroom while the floors were installed. I feel like a bouncing ball 🙂
MAY 25, 2011: CONTINUED CHAOS BUT PROGRESS
Had to move the electrical to accommodate the cabinet height last week.
I don't do well in chaos or stamping on a wobbling card table. Things are in a heap here. I debated on repainting the fireplace a new color but opted to keep it the same!
More electrical changes by James, my electrician extraordinaire.
Here's my painted wall (yesterday's project). . . I used two different greens in the room. A "pickle" green covers the big wall, where most of my stamping area will be. The cabinets will cover most of where it used to be blue and the holes. The green on the fireplace was there before . . . a modern yellow/green (see below).
JUNE 9, 2011: THE TRUCK IS HERE!
My Ultimate Stamping Zone is taking a big step today. Cabinets and countertops have JUST arrived and are being installed. I'm posting continuous before and after photos on my Facebook page throughout today, if you want the play by play (go to this link and be sure to "like me" to stay notified).
JUNE 10, 2011: DUSTING MYSELF OFF!
SO MY DREAM of having an Ultimate Stamping Zone to organize and relish in throughout the night hit a few stumbling blocks. Did you notice a lull–LOL? There were several issues with cabinets (drawer function, several of the hinges broken, one door the wrong size, missing the proper screws to install all the hardware, etc.) AND my wonderful installer (thanks, Mark) worked tirelessly until 10:00 p.m to finish (we fed him pizza and tipped him well). By that point, I headed to bed.
TODAY I dust myself off, literally and figuratively. I'm going to start cleaning the dust from the drawers, floors and counters and the cabinet store will be calling me to get the broken items repaired. My electrician is coming to install the undercabinet (fluorescent) lights and my husband will be in charge of installing rails and racks. Normally, he is not allowed access to any tools (trust me, there's a history here). However, he excels in the "rails and racks" department and this keeps him involved in the project.
BEYOND THE DUST I have some touch up painting to do (it's still blue below my work area) and a little drywall work. Chairs need to be purchased and, of course, I get to add decorative touches which will pull things together. I'll continue to keep you posted. The pieces are in place but there's still plenty to do to make it "ultimate."
JUNE 11: MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
There was encouraging progress on my Ultimate Stampin' Zone (craft room) today. The cabinet guy arrived, tweaked a few things and will be replacing the "suspension" for my upper storage cabinets. They should raise up and hold so that I can "have the shop open" when I'm working and "closed" when I'm not. It's a neatnik thing on my part to keep things tucked away and organized.
My husband, Scott, and I put up the Ikea Bygel rails (more details in my "Racks and Rails section below) for my punches last night. I made sure to have plenty of room for future additions. This is one area I tend to underestimate so I got plenty. The rails are still the best way I personally have found to have punches "ready for duty." I have used them since the renovation of my original stamping zone.
JUNE 13, 2011: FUN AND FUNCTIONAL ART!
JUNE 18, 2011: RACKS AND RAILS
I believe good organization of stamping space means easy access and visability. Racks can be a fabulous way to accomplish this. Here are examples of how I have incorporated racks and rails into my "zone."
A simple dowel system keeps ribbon accessible and looking organized. It's easy to slip off rolls on the right or use them while they are hanging. The little $.99 "buckets" from IKEA hold ribbon scraps. The rods (actually a curtain draw rod) fit through Stampin' Up! rolls perfectly (IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10079366).
I'm incredibly excited about this DVD (clear mount stamp) wall storage. Looks like metal sculpture (when staggered) and simplifies finding what you need fast. Here's the link with product info: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70115521.
Note: The racks are designed to hold DVD's vertically. I flipped them horizontally so that I could read the spines easier (when you're 50, you'll understand). I don't have any problems with them falling through the open back as long as I have at least 3 DVD's in a compartment (to fight gravity) and push them flush to the wall. I pull them out as a stack when I need one and return them the same way.
I'm still using my clear, stackable 12 x 12 paper storage but sized this cabinet (30" wide) to accommodate 26 trays. They are in my "cutting" zone but disappear when the cabinet is closed. Note: It's looking a little sparse in there as I wait to order new Designer Series and 12 x 12 paper from the Stampin' Up! 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog (available July 1).
TIP: They DO work for the new style Stampin' Up! punch if they are in the open position. Just set them on the rail gently.
Did I mention that the rails are very inexpensive? Here's the information on the 39 1/4" rail ($2.99) and the 21 3/4" rail ($1.99). IKEA no longer ships the rails. You'll need to purchase them at the IKEAstore.
A TIP FROM MY HUSBAND, SCOTT: In those areas where studs weren't used due to cosmetics and alignment issues, I used 3/8" – 1/2" plastic toggle drywall anchors with 1 1/2 inch screws. The screws and toggles are packaged together and can be purchased at Ace, Lowes, Home Depot. Just one holds up to 140 pounds which is more than enough security considering the minimal weight that these racks and rails will be holding. Use a 5/16 inch drill bit to drill your toggle holes in the drywall (or you can just push a hole using a small phillips head screwdriver).
TIP: I have the rails spaced a tad over 6" apart (that's pole to pole). It accommodates getting them on and off easily. The bottom pole is 2.5" from the counter. I laid them on the floor first with the largest punches to determine what would fit in the space between my counter and the bottom of the cabinets (total open space is 25", top to bottom).
JUNE 19, 2011: COOKING UP ART WITH DECOR ELEMENTS!
Check out this yummy new art destined to go over my fireplace! Take 1 Vanilla Mat Board and add a delicious dash of Stampin' Up! D?cor Elements. Set timer for a simple frame (I'm having it done professionally) will make the recipe complete. Note the large "Create" (117460, 30 x 11 3/4") in black has sold out on the retiring D?cor Elements Last Chance List. Chocolate (114117) and White (114079) are available while supplies last. There are lots of alternatives in the Stampin' Up! Definitely Decorative product line!
I love my upper cabinets for storage. They are designed to lift up and stay open when I'm working and "close up shop" when I'm away. I mounted them 24" above the 36" counter height base cabinets (that's 30" above my drop down desk area, which is 30" high) to leave plenty of wall space for racks and rails.
Here's what is hidden behind door #1. I finally weaned myself off my photo tent. It's always been in a separate room and is a bit of an eyesore. Having my "photo stage" in my Ultimate Stampin' Zone saves me time and is a very cost effective set-up. Plus, I can hide it away by closing the door. I reused the lamps (daylight bulbs) that came with my tent. A very simple Foamies white background completes the stage and keeps the backdrop seamless.
SPACE BELOW RESERVED FOR REALLY COOL FUTURE ORGANIZATIONAL IDEAS AND TIPS!!