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A Little Organization

I’ve been searching for the perfect storage solution for my address labels, stamps, return address labels, etc. and I think I may have finally found it.  I tried boxes, envelopes, CD sleeves… none of them worked for me. Then I remembered this pretty little treasure. It was right here all the time. Yes, Dorothy, right in my own backyard closet.


You see, I had big plans to be an extreme couponer once upon a time. You know what I mean, you’ve seen the show, right? One of those people that buys a van full of groceries for $3.57. It never really worked out that way for me. I didn’t have enough coupons for one of those humongous binders, but I had too many for just an envelope. I wanted something pretty, something that I could carry in my purse. So I sat down one day, drew out a pattern, bought some pretty fabric, and whipped this up. Well, maybe it didn’t go as smoothly as all that, but I did manage to get a presentable finished product.  I used it for quite a while, it worked well, but eventually I gave up on the whole extreme couponing dream. I downsized my coupons to a plastic organizer from Staples and stored this away. Once I remembered I had it, then it was time to play another rousing round of “Where the Hell Did I Put It?”. That took a little while, but find it I did. Never give up, never surrender (name that movie). I just changed the words on the dividers and Voila!


I’ve got everything neatly divided into sections - forever stamps, international stamps, postcard stamps, misc. stamps, address labels, etc. - and it’s portable. It has an elastic closure that slips around the bottom to a button on the back. I could clip a pen or two on there if the mood strikes.


I like the fact that it isn’t a rigid plastic. It’s soft, somewhat expandable, and holds more than I thought it would.


I keep stamps in these little things. They started out as zippered pockets for stamp sets, but I never used them for that purpose because the zipper was too hard to open and close. So I just zippered them shut and cut off the bottom to fit in the organizer. They are made of pretty sturdy, semi-soft plastic and it’s easier to keep them in there than to file them loose in the bag, even with the dividers.


I keep a stash of these in there, too. They are Super Sticky 3M labels that I use to address my handmade envelopes.


I bought these before I found the pretty colors - at least these have lines. You know how I love lines.  (Apologies for the blurry photo)


This is what my stationery collection has expanded to these days. The box on the left is just for envelopes and stickers, and I have some sealing wax (which I always forget about) in that little tin. The one on the right holds my paper & postcards - most of it, anyway. At the far left is where I keep my stamp organizer bag. It’s an evolving system and subject to change at any time, but it’s been this way for several months. So far, so good!


How do you organize small items like stamps and labels? I’m always open to new solutions. Hit me with your best shot!

Look What I Found!

I was searching for who-knows-what in the closet and I found this baby!!


Yes, it’s a small wooden lap desk which was a gift from a friend at least 10 years ago. She painted it, stamped it, and put a durable lacquer finish on it - it looks like the day I got it!  I had completely forgotten about it and I was so glad to find it that I totally forgot whatever else it was that I was searching for. I’m sure I will remember someday, but for now I am enjoying a visit with this lovely piece of functional art.

She even painted my initials on the inside of the lid and there is a cushioned felt pad in the bottom.


Here is a closer look at the stamping. Isn’t it gorgeous? It measures 11-1/4” x 9-1/2” and is 3” tall in the back. It slopes down slightly in the front, the way a good lap desk should. It sits perfectly on my lap and is just the right angle for writing comfortably. It’s a little tricky to use full 8-1/2 x 11 sheets on it, but it can be done. I don’t think you can even buy unfinished pieces like this any more. It may have come from a Hobby Lobby, or some similar craft store, but I haven’t seen one in any craft stores in recent years.


Inside, I found this. Yep, writing paper - with lines, thank you very much. I have NO idea where I bought this, but since paper like this seems to have gone extinct I can only guess at its age. It’s old. very old. Sorta like me :-)


I’ve never been one for plain ol’ white paper and I know I bought it because of the lovely rainbow colored sheets. It’s thin, cheap paper but I imagine it came from somewhere like Eckerd’s or maybe even K-Mart back in the day, and was probably pretty inexpensive. Not meant for fountain pen ink, I’m sure. But it will get used soon. Gel pens should work just fine on it.


I am off to write some more letters… I’ll see you in the mailbox.

Happy Mail

This is one of the many reasons I am so glad I started writing letters and having pen pals again. It’s such a delight to find a letter in my mailbox, and doubly delightful to find letters with envelopes such as these in the mailbox!

This is original artwork on the envelope, she is so talented! It’s beautiful and I just want to frame it!


A sweet pen friend visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter recently and sent me a letter from there, written on Owl Post stationery and enclosed in this wonderful envelope:


Complete with a faux wax seal on the back. Perfect!


I’m smilin’.

More…yes more… letter cards and some new stationery

I’ve been making more letter cards, this time with just a die cut or two and some washi tape. No stamping at all. So quick and easy - I love it! Yes, I am a fan of bright colors, can you tell?


These do have some stamping on them. They were made with the same die cut and some stamped images from my wonderful stampy friend Leslie, of The Crooked Stamper.


I also wanted to let you know about Miraculous Mosquito’s new website, where she has some wonderful stationery made with her original artwork. They are PDF files that you can purchase and print as many as you need. Her prices are more than reasonable and many of the items come in sets, with more than one design in the set for just a couple of bucks. She is in New Zealand, so the paper is A4, which is 8.3 x 11.7 inches and prints out like the first image. I changed the size to fit on an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and it worked fine. The A4 prints out fine but I am a little obsessive about having the edges as even as possible, and I didn’t want to have to trim every one of them. And yes, I know the edges are not even on the first one - I need to remedy that ASAP!


This is my favorite so far. I suggested that she create some mailing labels to match the stationery sets, so we’ll see where that goes. I’d love to have matching labels to put on my handmade envelopes. Her sets come with a printable envelope, but they don’t feature the artwork on them. Yet.


Please do stop by and check out her site soon. I’m sure she will be adding more items as soon as she can, but there is a very nice selection already there.

Robert le héros notebook

The Quo Vadis blog had a giveaway a week or so ago and I was one of the lucky winners! I won a lovely Quo Vadis Robert le héros lined notebook. It is a lovely shade of pink, with gold and silver flowers on the front and back. At 4” x 6-3/8” it is the perfect size to carry in my purse.


The cover is soft and feels lightly padded. The notebook has an elastic closure, as well as an attached bookmark.


Since my writing tends to get a bit unruly (Pun intended. Get it? No “ruled” lines? Work with me here.) without lines, I love that it has lined pages, too. I tried out a few of my favorite pens and inks and I have to say that I am impressed. The Clairefontaine paper is so smooth, it is a pleasure to use. I’ve heard of this paper before but I haven’t used it myself. I am a believer now!


No messiness on the other side of the paper.


It also has a wonderful little pocket in the back which would be perfect for stashing receipts, business cards, store loyalty cards, etc.



The back is just as pretty as the front! I am happy that it is made in the USA, and with paper from certified sustainable forests (that what that little PEFC logo means). Good job, Quo Vadis!


Thank you Quo Vadis and Exaclair for this perfect little notebook. Maybe I will use it for making notes while writing my memoirs….which I know will be at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List someday. Don’t laugh, stranger things have happened.

Hometown Memories

A wonderful pen friend from St. Augustine sent me this wonderful pop up card a few weeks ago.

I see the Castillo de San Marcos (commonly know to the natives as just The Fort), the Lightner Building, Flagler College, the City Gates, one of lions from the Bridge of Lions, Colee’s Carriages, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Oh, and palm trees and a little bit of beach in the background, of course!


I absolutely love it and it now holds a place of honor on my bookshelf in my craft/computer room - high up out of reach of any curious kitties. Thank you, Juli!!

Card making and letter writing united

Thanks to a recent letter from a friend, I’ve found a way to satisfy both of my addictions - card making and letter writing. A2 cards don’t have enough room to write much, so I usually end up adding extra pages inside. That works, but I like this plan better. Here is the letter/card I received.

A gorgeous photo of poppies on the front -


Opened up and laid flat it looks like this on one side:


This is how it folds:


She included some lovely photos from her recent trip, and there was still enough room to write a short letter. Since I am usually a bit more long winded in my letter writing, if I leave off the photos there is plenty of room for writing a long, rambly letter! It’s an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of card stock, scored down the center both ways - at 5-1/2 on the 11” length, and 4-1/4 on the 8” length.

I made a couple of really simple card fronts and added them to different card stocks. White would, of course, work best, but any plain colored card stock would be fine. So, I made one from some yellow card stock and another with white.


Here is the yellow one opened up - maybe this will make more sense about how to cut and fold it. After scoring it, just cut in half way on the 5-1/2” score line.


This one is made with some Lasting Impressions card stock, patterned on one side and white on the other, but still not too busy to write on.


They will fit in a standard A2 envelope and may not even require extra postage! It would be a great way to include some photos in a card and still have room for the writing. I will have to practice writing straight without lines, but I think it’ll be ok. I could have printed lines before scoring and cutting, and I might try that at some point but for now I’m happy with this design.

Thanks for the inspiration, Stephanie!

Stamps - Hero Arts
Dies - Hero Arts (speech bubble), My Favorite Things (hello)
Ink - Hero Arts Mid-Tones: Bubble Gum, Field Greens, Butter Bar, Cornflower