Okay, all you wonderful scrapbookers, collagers, decoupagers, etc...
Do you maintain a library of source material? If so, how do you organize it?
I have three drawers of papers (everything from handmade papers to magazine clippings) and have realized tonight that my organization system is broken/sucks/needs to be replaced pronto. I've not had a lot of luck Googling for advice and am hoping some organizational whiz out there has a few good ideas up her sleeve.
There seems to be a lot of materials and supplies out there for organizing scrapbook papers, but my collection is made up of pieces of paper both larger and smaller and often unique bits of ephemera, so just having a set of trays sorted by color doesn't seem like it's going to work. Similarly, I thought of getting one of those hanging file organizers, but just feared all my small clippings would leak out the sides of the hanging files.
Also reminded me of a pair of embroidered bloomers in the permanent collection of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Apparently the maker was in some sort of psychiatric care facility and used the only materials available to her (the cloth of her underwear and thread from her socks) to tell her story. Really an intense statement about the power of artistic expression and an individual's reaction to being powerless.
Oh, gosh, how cute. I saw the first picture and was all, what the heck makes that girly...or crossbones even? Heh, I'm obviously not a stencil person myself. I love the little heart nose and that *perfect* grin. Well done!
Here's what I'm doing now. The basis for my organization is a small plastic toolbox with a removable tray and storage in the lid.
I use the storage in the lid to store my floss in a kinda by-feel ROYGBIV order (as opposed to the DMC numbers, which I find counterintuitive). All my floss is wound on the plastic bobbin things with the DMC number printed on them (except for duplicates and metallic thread, which is kept in baggies inside the toolbox). I reserve one of the storage bins in the lid for little leftover pieces of thread whilst I'm working on a project. When I'm done stitching for the night, I then move those little bits into a baggie labeled "misc." This isn't really critical, but I have a hard time throwing stuff out and find the misc bag useful for random stitches, like French knots.
In the removable tray, I keep all my iron-on transfer pens and pencils, my scissors, and a baggie of extra bobbins. In the base of the toolbox, I keep extra white cotton, small pieces of interfacing, my embroidery hoop (make sure you get a toolbox that fits it!), and my patterns. Since most of my patterns are taken from modified clip art online or on my computer, this doesn't take up a lot of space and I haven't had to resort to a binder for this yet. (But, I just realized, when I do, I have a super cute tiny binder that's perfect for all the little projects I do!)
For projects in progress, I currently carry everything around in an oversized ziploc bag, as I haven't finished the embroidery case I attempted to start prior to the holidays. The case has a large buttoned compartment for the embroidery hoop and project, then two zippered compartments--one for scissors, the other for floss. As soon as I finish it (motivate, motivate!), I can post pictures if you like.
Also, for those intimidated by lotso stitches, it's really easy to create some projects with just a few stitches. I think I got by for quite some time with some satin stitch, split stitch and backstitch. Fer real.
Then, as I ventured out into new projects, I would add a stitch at a time. The felt ornaments I made this past Christmas were excellent tiny vehicles for trying out new sttiches without the stress of ruining a large project. I know women used to use samplers for learning stitches, but I've never really thought to sit down and do that...maybe a future idea for a stitch along.