Saturday, January 2, 2010

Craft Notebooks

Quite a few people have asked about my craft notebooks over the last few weeks, and so I wanted to take a moment to give you a rundown of what I do and how I keep it all together.

The craft binders are kept here:

This area of the homeschool room is my shelf and mine alone. It is filled with binders of things I love. First, I have a binder (the huge 3" baby) for gardening. This binder is filled with calendars of times to plant, pages from magazines with good gardening ideas, seed catalogs, and drawings I make of garden plans of my own. I pull it out in Jan every year and start planning my harvest.

But wait, I am getting ahead of myself. Something ALL of these binders have in common is an obscene amount of page protectors. I buy them by the case and have one covering each and every page in my notebooks. I WANT to be able to use these like cook books. I want to have them out with my morning coffee, or my afternoon tea and not worry about ruining the pages. Everything (even my drawings) goes into a page protector. Yes, I pull the pages out and draw/write/add to them... but they still go back into the page protectors when I am done.

(a page from my decor notebook, which I will get to another day, but illustrates the 'write on it, add stuff to it' thing quite well.)

Another thing that I should say before going further is I try to give credit where ever I can. If I find something I love from another's site, I always put the name in the upper left corner of the page, so I know where to find the post/writer again if I should ever do the craft and want to post their glory.

My notebooks:

Homeschooling Prep
Food Preservation
All Season Crafts
Late Winter (ie: Not Christmas)

(I have moved Food Preservation out of my household notebook because the recipes section was getting too big.)

I have several books that don't fit into my seasonal craft notebooks. "All Season Crafts" has their own book and may be filled with felt food tutorials, 'how to make a fairy garden' pages, bird feeders, and other things that you can do all year round.

In my Late Winter notebook, I have a calendar that has the dates of festivals and holidays, a few good quotes for the season, and then it goes into the crafts:

All of the crafts have been given a title that includes where I got them, and each one has been put in to a double column format so I can save paper (and ink) by having smaller pictures, and smaller type font.

During the season, I pull them out and go through and decide what I want to prepare for to do with (or without) the kids. If I do things, and have alterations that I make, I write right on the page. If I have variation that I love and want to do again, I take a picture and add it next to the craft in my notebook. If I do a craft, and don't like it, I recycle the page, or give it to Logan to color on while I am working.

It comes easily to me, but writing it out I can see just how complicated this process is. I hope I have made it a little clearer how I keep everything crafty at my fingertips. :)



Kat said...

AAAAH! I had to come visit your blog tonight because I stumbled onto a self described "gap buying, ralph lauren loving, mocha snubbing mommy" blog. I could feel my blood pressure rising! Back to Zen, WHEW!!! Your blog is a breath of fresh air when I can't seem to catch mine, thanks!

Lise said...

I love a peek at others' organizing systems. Thanks!

Anna said...

You are one exceptionally organized person. Wow!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Wow! I'm in total awe of those notebooks.

sarah in the woods said...

Whoa - that is some awesome organization! Sure beats my scraps of paper here and there and everywhere, always getting lost.

anotherkindofdrew said...

We have several notebooks too. One of which is 'household' and contains design ideas, DIY projects, color schemes, decorating themes, etc. We just can't figure out how to section it within though. Believe it or not we tried making each room of a house a section (i.e. Living Room, Dining Room, etc). That didn't seem to work out though. So, how do you section your notebooks?

Thanks Val.


Shaper of Little Souls said...

I love it! I want to know what is in your household notebook?

What do you do with business cards say from specialist doctors and people you may see or use one time?

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Awesome post Val!

I SO WISH we lived closer together, our binder systems are almost identical!! even the page protectors : )

I could see our kids playing and crafting while we spend the afternoon sipping coffee/tea and flipping through each other's notebooks-- wouldn't that be fun!!! A girl can dream.

xoxo marylea

Tracey said...

I really like this idea.. I've done the same thing in my house. Trying to keep all those magazines at bay. I take what I want and put them into the binders and recycle the rest. Kudo's to you for being so resourceful!!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Drew: I will be posting about that tomorrow. :) I can tell you though that I don't keep mine seperated according to room, but more according to project. We have moved twice in the last year, so color schemes have moved from room to room for necessity and style of the house etc. But I do have little running areas in the decor notebook for certian rooms. Like that double page spread for Alex's room pictured above. I keep it all together, if not in it's own section.

Mom with the best job: I should have added the link with the household notebook! I'll do that now. :) Then you can see what is in that baby too.

MaryLea: Oh gosh! That would be SO fun. Perhaps by mail? Although both of us USE our notebooks. So who knows if we could part with them for a couple weeks... but wow, it would be fun to pick your brain/notebook. :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Lauren said...

Haha, anonymous said the exact same thing on my blog. LOL.

Val, I love this post. Great stuff! I'm inspired.

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

What a great resource this post is! I love how you have a separate binder for "late winter". I have a similar organizational thing going on here, and the winter one is waaay too overflowing with Christmas stuff. I never thought to start a "late winter" binder!

Also, I'm a page protector freak too. We even reuse workbook sheets with them, since I let Emily write on them with dry erase markers.

Sonia said...

The covers are awesome looking - solemn and humbling...I love the concept of craft books..but somehow it makes a good collection only for kids..grown ups do it for a while and then chuck the book in a corner, and get on with posting crafts on the blog...whims of life!! It is commendable on your part if you painstakingly store every craft detail in it!

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