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Organizing a New Work Space with Mel | Nerd Nest Challenge

M Carruthers - Kallax

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Mel is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Tackle a Mess.

This month’s challenge, to “Tackle a Mess” came at the perfect time for me. Over the summer, my family and I moved to our new home in Scotland after 12 years living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Of course my scrapbooking materials and Project Life albums came with us, but I opted to airfreight them rather than risk any damage in six weeks of the extreme temperatures in our shipping container. To keep airfreight costs down, I had to consolidate my stash and memorabilia before packing it all into three suitcases. It was 3000 miles, and 8 weeks later when we finally found a new home, before I could unpack.

As I organised and set up my new work space, I found it useful to consider each element in turn – albums, pages, cards, embellishments, memorabilia, tools, and the work space itself. I thought about how I used each element and how much of each I had, before deciding how to organise them.

M Carruthers - Kallax (2)

I chose an IKEA Kallax cube shelf as the centrepiece of my scrapbooking space as I love its versatile, easily accessible storage. By keeping as much as possible on the shelving unit, I have been able to leave my actual desktop uncluttered and free as a workspace. I work from home so I need my desk to be flexible – in the day it is my office, and in my free time it adapts to be my craft area. I can easily move whatever I need for my scrapbooking projects onto my desk when I need to, returning them to their “home” when I need to work again.

My Project Life albums fit perfectly into the Kallax cubes, five 12X12 albums to each square. My albums are colour coded – black for family albums, pink for my life before we became a family, navy for my son’s albums, brown for family history, and white for supplies. The white albums are where I keep my empty pocket pages and page protectors, filed by design type. I prefer to leaf through an album of pages when deciding what to use – it’s not so easy when the pocket pages are all stored in the flat boxes they come in.

M Carruthers - card caddy (5)

For the cards themselves, I ditched the boxes several years ago as I found them a little cumbersome to dig out when stacked. Instead, I was thrilled to find the perfect caddy to keep my cards in (from craft storage company Organize More). I store my favourite eight core kits in this caddy, although this changes from time to time so I can easily switch them out if I want to. As I was unpacking, I made some little tab cards and wrote the names of the core kit on each – I wish I had done this years ago as it makes the perfect card so much easier to find!

M Carruthers - Raskog

The cards that don’t make the “Favourite Eight” in the caddy are stored in my beloved IKEA Raskog trolley. I keep the kits that I use regularly for specific ongoing projects here (my son’s albums, my genealogy album, and anything to do with Christmas and holidays), tabbed for easy identification and access.

M Carruthers - cards

The remainder of my cards are in the pink compartment box on the bottom of the trolley. I’d like to get a second storage caddy eventually so that all my cards can sit on top of the Kallax.

M Carruthers - embellishments

Unlike many of my scrapbooking buddies, I don’t use too many embellishments. I keep stickers and die-cuts in a plastic box in the mid shelf of my trolley, alongside papers and letter stickers. I use a cute little cake stand / coloured pots combo to store the die-cuts that match my “Favourite Eight” core kits. There is also plenty of room in here for my stamps, corner cutter, sequins, ribbons and whatever lovely things I find for my albums.

M Carruthers - stickers

Finally, my memorabilia and photos waiting to be scrapbooked are kept in two boxes in the Kallax shelf. Inside each box are a series of envelopes marked with a month and year. My whole family knows that if they want something to reach the family album, they put it in the right envelope. My little boy fondly calls it “The Mummy Museum”! Before leaving Dubai, I radically reduced the size of the Mummy Museum by scanning as much of my son’s artwork as I could and throwing away the hard copies. Knowing that we had a limit on what we could airfreight home to Scotland was a helpful motivation, as I had struggled with the emotions of throwing originals away before.

I also had a huge declutter of scrapbooking cards and embellishments before I left Dubai, and I am committed to keeping my supplies to a manageable size going forward. My new rule is, if it doesn’t fit in the storage I have, I won’t buy it. Having less to choose from has really helped me to focus more when putting a spread together so I hope to be able to keep to this rule. (Let’s see how long that lasts!)

M Carruthers - card caddy (4)

And that’s it – how I have organised this mess of boxes and jumbled up cards into a system that works for me. It’s all about accessibility and order, with an attempt to contain my collection and not let it get out of control this time. I love the way it has turned out, especially as I work from this room too. It’s pretty but functional, with everything at arm’s reach. I am so excited to be able to scrapbook again, and can already feel the benefits of my newly organised space.

Mel is an organiser and memory-keeper, who is passionate about helping families record their memories and get their photos off their phones! You can find her at www.moreorganised.com, Instagram @more_organised and Facebook.

Mel Carruthers
@more_organised
www.moreorganised.com
10 September 2017

Read | The Awesome Ladies Project Guest Story Teller

september-read

This month I’m a guest storyteller for The Awesome Ladies Project Monthly Storytelling Workshop for September: Read.

I can’t wait to make even more using the amazing prompts and story sparks from the workshop.

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Here’s a sneak peek of my projects, which include tons of tips for documenting what you read! You can find my projects in the Read gallery. Learn all of the amazing things included in this workshop here!

7 Tips for Ink | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Ink

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips about ink!

Different types of ink go on differently! Test them out to see what kind you prefer. I tend to like pigment ink the best, because it coats the stamp well, stamps evenly, and tends to be very vivid. It does take longer to dry, so be careful of smearing! Solvent ink is permanent, so is great for things handled frequently like minibook covers or very slick surfaces like acetate. Dye ink dries faster, but bleeds easily and it's difficult to get a clean image on certain types of paper. Pictures here: 1) Kelly Purkey hybrid ink 2) Kelly Purkey dye ink 3) Ali Edwards crafter's ink (similar to pigment) 4) Momento dye ink (JUST opened) 5) Momento pigment ink (I realized it needs to be refreshed after stamping) 6) Prima pigment ink #nndailytip

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What are your favorite tips for using ink?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

Organizing Embellishments with Emily | Nerd Nest Challenges

Organizing Embellishments with Emily | Nerd Nest Challenges 1

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Emily is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Tackle a Mess.

For my take on the challenge, I chose to focus on my embellishments and ephemera. I have so many of these items in various places like little bowls and pencil cup holders. I finally decided to try out a container by Creative Options. There are other brands that have containers similar to Creative Options and you can find most of them in your local arts and crafts store.

I decided to organize some of my ephemera and wood veneer embellishments in the container. I love that there are adjustable slots so you can easily organize your supplies the way you want. You could even purchase several different containers for specific embellishments. I plan to purchase more containers and may even label each container with a specific type of embellishment.

Organizing Embellishments with Emily | Nerd Nest Challenges 2

This container has definitely helped me in my memory keeping projects because instead of having to look through a ton of bowls and pencil holders, the items are in the container. This has also saved a lot of space in my craft area as well. I even placed the tags from the ephemera and wood veneer embellishments so that I know what brand I am using as well as which collection I am using. This is very helpful because sometimes I like to make projects using items from a specific collection. I can’t wait to organize the rest of my embellishments in similar containers.

Do you use containers similar to Creative Options? How do you organize your embellishments?

There are many different ways to interpret this challenge. I can’t wait to see everyone’s take on this challenge!

Emily is a blogger and memory keeper who loves spending time with her family. She is obsessed with planners, books, and making new things. You can find Emily over at The Emi Times, on Instagram, and Pinterest. Buy her handmade cards in her Etsy shop The Emi Times.

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Lists 1-8

I had such a great time with the first week of September’s 30 Days of Lists and wanted to share my first batch of lists with you!

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 1

1. But first, ______

  • coffee
  • read the recipe
  • make a plan
  • do “have to do” before “want to do”
  • edit / double check

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 2

I am excited for…

  • cool, crisp autumn air
  • weekend with Kristin and Jeff
  • Bed! (we left at 5:00AM and I woke up at 3AM)
  • Fall crafts
  • Ava’s adoption being finalized

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 3

Favorite treats to have on hand

  • Almond M&Ms
  • Fresh fruits & veggies (esp. from the farmer’s market, but always apples, oranges, and carrots)
  • ice cream
  • baby bell cheese

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 4

I feel my best when…

  • I get enough sleep
  • We go on an outdoor adventure or walk
  • I have some quiet time to myself

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 5

My excuses for being late

  • There are a lot of children
  • Grown-ups are outnumbered
  • Seriously, there are 3 of them, plus baby T a lot of the time
  • I’m never late on my own, lol

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 6

Please don’t ask me to

  • Give up any books (or go to a library-I AM a library)
  • Be agreeable
  • Act like a lady
  • Be quiet

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 7

My go-to outfits

  • Simple dresses or skirts & a tank top (bonus if it has pockets!)
  • pink or olive shorts + book t-shirt or Star Wars tank
  • jeans + flannel

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Megan Nerd Nest | List 8

Books to re-read over and over again

  • the Harry Potter series
  • the Song of Ice and Fire series
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • The Little Prince
  • The Great Gatsby
  • White Teeth

You can check out how I made my album base here. Follow along with my lists in real time on Instagram.

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge

The September Nerd Nest Challenge is to Tackle a Mess. Work on an area of your memory keeping that needs a bit of organization–photo storage, a box of kits, piles around your desk, haphazardly strewn embellishments–and see how that organization aids you in your memory keeping!

How can tackling a mess help you to successfully make a project?

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge 1

For my take on the challenge, I decided to tackle a mess taking up space on my desk–a pile of memorabilia and papers flying all around. I sorted it into piles by month, then started adding the memorabilia to my pocket scrapbooking album!

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge 2

I include weekly pocket spreads in my albums, but I put a break in between each month’s pages. This gives me room to include traditional layouts, thematic pages, and monthly pages like my reads pages.

I like the idea of having one of the extra blank pocket pages in my monthly break space act as a catch-all for memorabilia or random photos that didn’t make it into a weekly spread.

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge 3

For this “extra bits from May” space, I included 8.5×11 memorabilia (Eliza’s chess certificate and a flier for her overnight school camping trip) in an insert and lots of little things in pockets: movie tickets, Jonas writing a sentence about the day on a post-it (an exercise he did daily at school and liked to repeat randomly at home), a scan of the cover of a coupon book Eliza made me for Mother’s Day, and a photo of a craft project Jonas made for me for Mother’s Day. I also added in a photo my sister-in-law sent of my niece in a shirt we bought for her.

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge 4

Scanning / taking photos of the bulkier bits helps me include these sorts of special things. It’s also useful to do this so that larger artwork or paperwork can be shrunken in size.

Tackle a Mess | September Nerd Nest Challenge 5

I’m super happy to have this stuff off of my desk! It’s my goal to have the pages for the rest of this memorabilia done by the end of the month.

I want to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!

Remember that you can do anything you’d like for this challenge–it doesn’t just have to be scrapbooking! Just insert your documenting area (art journaling, videography, etc.) for the word scrapbooking in the challenge!

Check back on Mondays throughout the month of September for takes from the Nerd Nest Creative Team.

7 Tips for Pocket Page Design

7 Tips for Pocket Page Design

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips about pocket page design!

Trying out a new design idea can help you get out of a rut! #nndailytip

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

What are your favorite tips for pocket page design?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

Mimicking Magic with Michelle | Nerd Nest Challenges

Mimicking Magic with Michelle | Nerd Nest Challenges 1

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Michelle is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Mimic Your Photo.

If you’ve been following Megan’s 31 Challenges class, you may be tired of seeing photos of my recent Walt Disney World trip. :) My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a “kid free” trip. We had our pictures taken with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. When I think of Minnie Mouse, I think of polka dots!! This page was created in the Project Life app using the Magical Memories kit. The classic combination of yellow, red and black gives you a “magical” feeling.

Mimicking Magic with Michelle | Nerd Nest Challenges 2

Here’s another example created in the Project Life app. These photos were taken on our last night in the parks. We had a late dinner at the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in Magic Kingdom. If you know the story, you know about the enchanted rose. I used rose themed cards for this page documenting our dinner.

Michelle O has been on the Pocket Your Year Creative Team since 2016. She lives in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia (USA) with her husband, two daughters and dog. She moved back to her hometown in 2010 when she got a job opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. You can follow her on Instagram – MOSCRAPPIN

Giant Nebula Kit Blanket Layout | August Freckled Fawn Sketch

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 1

I had a great time playing along with the August Freckled Fawn Sketch using the August Freckled Fawn Kit!

The colors in the kit and the epoxy star stickers reminded me of a blanket I made for Jonas last year, so I decided to make a page about that!

The August kit is sold out, but many of the individual items are still avalible. Find them here.

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You can use the August Sketch with any products, but I love that it is made with the August kit in mind, so choosing embellishments was a no brainer!

Here’s how I used the sketch:

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 2

I stuck pretty close to the original design with a few changes.

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 3

Instead of adding patterned paper horizontally, I used three August All About Love Journal Cards by Lili Niclass. I made a bigger title using White Puffy Alpha Stickers and used the second card for journaling.

I added strips of Rose Gold Woodgrain Washi to the top and bottom of the cards to pull them together. I loved that the tape played off of the metallic thread bits in the blanket and was a nod to Groot, as the blanket color scheme was based on a Guardians of the Galaxy poster!

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 5

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 6

I added August Epoxy Star Stickers to the center of each Vintage Doily Acetate Diecut and skipped the large heart embellishment on the sketch.

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 7

Instead of including three 4×6 photos, I included two 4×6 and two 3×4 photos. I used foam adhesive on the back of one of the 3×4 photos to make it stand out!

Giant Nebula Knit Blanket Layout with August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 8

Lastly, I used a Doily Flair instead of a large heart in the upper left corner.

I absolutely love how this page came out and had such a great time making it quick thanks to this sketch.

Are you planning on playing along with the August sketch? Don’t forget to link up your take there!

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

San Antonio Pocket Spread | August Freckled Fawn Kit

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 1

The August Freckled Fawn Kit has some wonderful travel themed embellishments, so I knew immediately that I’d want to tackle a vacation I haven’t scrapbooked yet with the kit. I browsed my photo folders and realized I hadn’t gotten our trip to San Antonio last summer in the books yet–and the colors and florals in the kit were perfect!

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The August kit is sold out, but many of the individual items are still avalible. Find them here.

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 2

I included highlights from the first portion of our trip for this spread. The August All About Love Journal Cards by Lili Niclass made this layout so bright and fun. I love having cards that coordinate with the embellishment kit–this spread came together so quickly!

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: San Antonio art along the River Walk for the title spot, our traditional family road trip photo, trying out a fun restaurant called Hot Joy, and exploring my friend Jessica’s swanky new apartment complex.

For the title card, I used cork letters (from the sold out December 2016 kit), an August Floral Wood Chip in the top left corner (I also used one in the bottom right of the other page), and I added a retired Freckled Fawn label sticker to add the date range of the trip in.

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 4

I used the August Epoxy Foil Floral Stickers to fancy up the bottom of the yellow journaling card along with three hearts on the roadtrip photo. I also snuck some August Clear Wanderlust Phrase Stickers to the negative space of a few photos.

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 5

Going on here: The San Antonio River Walk + The Alamo.

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 6

I had fun adding a few embellishments onto the journaling cards. For the orange card, I added a phrase sticker to the title space and framed it with two heart epoxy stickers, then added floral epoxy sticker to the bottom right corner. I added a phrase sticker to the center of a doily pattern on a journaling card too!

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 8

Our walk to and time at the Alamo was VERY hot, so using an orange August Vintage Doily Acetate Diecut to represent the sun was both pretty and part of the story!

San Antonio Pocket Spread with the August Freckled Fawn Kit | The Nerd Nest 7

I had so much fun documenting my San Antonio trip with this kit! I love when kit themes motivate me to go back and scrapbook older stories I was avoiding for one reason or another.

What travels are you planning on going back to document?

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.