Saturday, July 3, 2010

Organizing Creative Concepts and Idea Links

Do you sometimes have so many creative ideas running through your head that you sometimes forget an idea you came up with, maybe while waiting at the doctor's office or waiting to pick up your kids after school, or at work? I think we all do that at the most inconvenient times and then we sometimes just make a quick sketch on whatever scraps of paper happen to be around. Then at some point the scrap gets lost or they just pile up and you lose your inspiration? My solution for gaining control of all these valuable ideas is to keep a small sketch pad or journal with you at all times, of course with a pencil attached. When you get an idea or are inspired by something, you will have a place to sketch it or make a note of it. If you see a small photo of an item you might like to order or look up later, copy it or cut it out and tape it into your idea journal. I find it inspiring to go through this journal periodically. It is surprising how many things I had forgotten about that I fortunately jotted down in this journal. It not only eliminates going through little pieces of scrap paper and the possibility of losing those scraps or having someone throw them away, it also organizes your ideas and thoughts.

Another paper overload issue I have is magazines I have problems parting with. I finally made up my mind that I can never find the article or photo I want later on, so those magazines (obviously with a few exceptions) are clutter and also drain my energy as I try to find what I wanted. A solution that has really worked well for me is to tear out what I really like and what I realistically will use or refer to in the future. The articles, photos and how-tos then go into sheet protectors that I place in notebooks. I place them back to back (two articles in each pocket) with the seductive photo to the front. I know, it sounds like a chore, but think of the alternative! I have a notebook (OK, two notebooks) of beading instructions and inspiration, one for general crafts (including but not limited to inspiration for paintings and stained glass), and one for decorating both indoors and out. It's like having the ultimate book of inspiration jam packed with all your favorites and you know just where to look for 'that one idea'. I just pull the appropriate notebook and browse until I am totally inspired or find what I need.

I was so amazed by how much space was saved by compacting issue upon issue of magazines into a small number of notebooks! Once in awhile while I am going through them I will spot something that no longer interests me and discard it, making a spot for something new and more interesting.

How do you store your sketches and ideas? Are these ideas you think would work for you? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Have you ever stopped to think about how inundated we are daily with advertising brochures, newspaper ads, "junk mail", fliers, etc.? Do these things pile up on your desk or kitchen table or elsewhere like mine? I get so frustrated trying to keep up that I could just scream. My energy is drained just looking at it all piled up. I have started trying to get a handle on these things before they become a problem. When I pick up our newspaper and mail, I come back into the house through the garage and the trash can. I think you can see where I'm going with this. I quickly look through all the ads folded up with our newspaper and the junk mail. As I pass the trash can I drop in the items I know I have no use for. We have a shredder which I use for those with personal information, especially promotions for credit cards, so I have to take at least the pieces with the personal info into the house to be shred. However, that small step has helped a lot. It usually gets rid of about half the papers if not more. I am trying to get my husband to read the newspaper online which would really help, but haven't achieved that yet. At the end of every day I see what is left sitting on the table that I can discard or put away.

I pay my bills online through my bank. I love this! It's not the same as the automatic payments that come out of your account. You can actually log into your account and say how much and when to pay the bills. I do this immediately when the bills come. I note the payment confirmation number on a copy of the bill, toss all that I can and place all the paid receipts in a designated spot. I no longer have to think about them. At the end of the year I sort and separate and toss accordingly.

And now for those Inspiring LINKS I promissed you!
Here are some links to ideas I think many of you would enjoy. I would appreciate it if you would let them know I sent you.

*Rita May uses clear tennis canisters to store smaller items. Check out her photos at:

*Visit the two links that follow for clever ribbon storage ideas: (Roberta took Karen’s idea (top link) and did her own twist on it while crediting Karen with the idea. I love when credit is given where credit is due.)

*Below is a link I think you will enjoy. Diane Knott came up with a fabulous idea for storing lace doilies on shutters. It looks to me like this would be a great idea for both storing your delicate pieces and to display them as well!

*Finally, below is a link for setting up and organizing a sewing room studio. It is geared toward those wanting to sew as a career. There are a lot of good ideas. I think even someone who just sews as a hobby can get some ideas here.

If any of you have ideas for storage and organizing supplies, especially using found or repurposed items, I will be happy to share your links on my blog. Just email me the link and I will post it the next time I have a posting like this.
Have a great weekend!!!

1 comment:

Privet and Holly said...

Hi Connie! Popped over from your other blog. Love these ideas! I'm kinda-sorta doing following some of them, now, but not in the directed fashion that I would like to. I currently have a bunch of "idea files," but I like the idea of sorting those into notebooks, instead. This is going to be such a fun blog to follow. Thanks for the great inspiration!
xx Suzanne