December 24, 2010

Tags and Tabs to Organize My Bags

Twas the Day Before Christmas, and all through the house, I'm thinking of New Year organization!    Hopefully, by now you have your gifts wrapped and are getting ready to celebrate this special time with your family.  First, I want to say that I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.   I am so blessed with the friends I have made through my crafting world and am honored to be a part of the design teams I have and am currently on.  I'm Cher at Cheryl's Window and today, I am so thrilled to be a guest designer at She's a Sassy Lady.  Sheila, your blog rocks and we love you! 

So, with all my Christmas preparations done, I'm already thinking of the New Year.  This means a new start, a new year, and a deep clean at my house as I purge and organize.   And, I'm starting by better organizing my Cricut cartridges.

Since I've been teaching weekly Cricut and Gypsy classes at my LSS, A Scrapbook Store & More, I needed to find a better way to transport my Cricut Expression and my Cartridges.   I usually travel with my Gypsy to crops, so my old system was fine, but I needed to actually have the cartridges and handbooks for my Cricut classes. 

Paula got some of the CGull totes in the store.  I decided these would be a much easier way of transporting my Cricut and carts since they had great handles and the Expression bag actually has wheels.

Next, I decided I needed some luggage tags to differentiate my bags from anyone else's.  I used my Gypsy and Paper Lace cartridge to design my luggage tags. I will admit that I MUST be doing something wrong with this cartridge. If I unlock the proportion width/height and alter the lace images, I cannot get the layer to come in at the same proportionate size. It does come in at the right height as my altered base, but not width. Is anyone else having this problem with Paper Lace? OK, so I manually adjusted the base layer to be just a tad bigger than my lace layer. I used the font from the same cartridge and welded the letters to create my tag labels.

I love the detail that cuts so nice on this cartridge and I'm sure this will quickly become one of my favs for cards and backgrounds (if I can figure out the layering / size issue).

I layered it all together and put the new tag shape in a Luggage Tag Hot Pocket by Purple Cows and ran it through my Purple Cows laminator.

Next, I added a little extra dimension with some new products I got at SSM by Viva Decor. I used Glass Effects Gel in amber to trace my letters right over the laminate. This stuff is great in that it will work on plastic, glass, paper, acrylic, and metal. It also retains its dimension after drying. I am IN LOVE!! I also added a few pearls using Pearl Pens, also by Viva Decor. I like that they are a great size to use and don't leave little points on the top of my pearls. They are self-leveling so they create a nice domed pearl and, again, stay dimensional once dried.

Isn't this dimension great?  It stays this way when dry!  Shiny and dimensional.

After adding a little Tim Holtz jewelry, my bags are tagged.   However, I have more cartridges than will fit in one CGull cartridge tote and I was struggling with how to carry the handbooks and overlays and be able to actually USE them and find them.   My solution was to stand then on end and apply little tabs to them.   First, I separated my holiday-themed cartridges and my licensed 'themed" cartridges (Tinkerbell, Superman, etc.).   I kept these in my original Snapware storage system.  This left me with my everyday cartridges that now fit in my tote.   I still have some extra room to add any holiday or licensed cartridges I may currently be using.   As my collection grows, I may need to separate some others, but for now, this is working.   

I decided to use my Imagine to cut my tabs for my handbooks.  I used a tab found on From My Kitchen and a pattern from Nursery Tails.    I edited the tab to be 3" relative size (1.5" true size) and chose the pattern I wanted.   I then chose to auto-fill the page with these tabs and chose to create multiple projects and cut out a few pages of tabs.   

Since these are fairly small, I decided to use my label maker to add the name of the cartridge (or easily recognizable abbreviation) to both sides of the tab and used my ATG to adhere to edges of cartridge handbooks.  

They now are in alphabetical order, easy to read, and easy to find in my tote bag.

Simple project, but lots of fun to put together. And now, I'm organized to start off the New Year right and my bags will be easily identified at a class or crop!  I hope this inspires you to create some organization to your Cricut supplies for the New Year.  You could easily use anything to make your own tags and tabs.  Personalize them for you. 

Thanks for stopping by here at She's a Sassy Lady.   I hope you'll visit me at Cheryl's Window as well.   Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

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