Saturday, June 2, 2012

Improv can be a Good Thing!!

I have so much work I should be doing but I just get myself motivated to do it so I have been "playing" instead. 

recently, I posted about how much I am loving my new Scraprack System. For National Scrapbooking Day, the company ran a great promotion of free shipping.  Their system is made of metal and shipping can be very high.  So I think the whole country ordered supplies from them on that day and since then they have been out of stock of a lot of the page refills and other products I need to keep going with my organization. 

The company promised to have everything re-stocked by Mid June along with some new items that they will be introducing.  Well, I just do not have the patience to wait so I have been trying to improvise in the meantime and I have been liking the ideas I have come up with.

First off - I did not have enough Dividers to sort out my Themes.  These are OOS (out of stock), plus they are pricey at $12.00 for 5 dividers.  I do think that if they had them I would have just ordered them even at that price just so I keep making progress in my re-organization I've got started here.

But since they don't, I have been using other things.  Crop In Style sold dividers for their Paper Holders.  These are very hard to find nowadays, but I had tons of them separating my CTMH and Stampin Up! papers so I have been stealing from there where I could, but I got to the point I could not take anymore from there.  Then I heard from Facebook that people were using the roll up vinyl cutting mats from the dollar store.  So I ran out and bought 10 for $5 (2 in a pack) these were working but, that was all my Dollar Store had in stock.  Today, while I was at Staples getting a new ink cartridge, I noticed they had vinyl file folders on clearance.  They were marked down from $10.99 to $2.50 for a box of 15 folders.  I bought all 4 boxes they had left.  I was iffy if these would work since the boxes were sealed but this is definately a score.  The folders have colored tabs (even better for organizing my themes) and I unfolded them, cut them down to 12 1/2 inches and three hole punched them, so the tabs will show at the top of my Scraprack for my sub-catagories.  Then I realized I had an extra score with getting these.  After cutting them down I was left with enough vinyl on each folder to cut 3 strips at 1 1/2 inch wide each.  I can three hole punch these, Presto-Chango, now I have 3 ring binder strips, as well.  Just add a strip of scotch tape between these and whatever I want to add to my Scraprack.  I can get 45 strips from each box of folders.  (these would sell for in packs of 25 for $ 9.00 at From the 4 boxes I will get 180 strips and you could say these were free since they are the leftovers from the dividers I made. (Total Savings from dividers and 3 ring binder strips - $ 197.00 plus shipping costs)

Next I needed more pages,  these are also OOS.  I needed singles and I really needed the double XL. These are the pages with two 12 1/2 x 6 inch pockets for the big sticker sheets, paper scraps, titles and borders, etc...  Someone on the face book groups gave us a website that was running a $2.00 sale on sticker storage pages.  Score again!  I got $20 worth (enough for free shipping) and now have 60 more single pages and 8 tri-fold sticker pages.  (Savings of $72.00 plus shipping costs)

Then the other item I really wanted and had all intentions of ordering along with the OOS pages was the Crop Crate (from Office Depot for 23.00 plus 9.95 shipping) and the Crop Crate Arpon ($35.00).  this would be perfect for going to crops. My scraprack will fit in it and I can set the rack up on top of it at the crop.  Well, AC Moore had a crop crate that included an apron on sale for $29.99. It has a cover but just a fabric cover to keep this dust free, not a hard cover to set things on top of it.  So my dilemna, do i get this now and not have to pay shipping and made due with figuring out how to be able to set my scraprack on top?   Or do I wait and get the other ones that I know will work.  I could not wait.  I got the AC Moore one and then went to Michaels where I picked up a thin piece of birch plywood (1/8 inch thick by 12 wide and 24 inches long) I also found some black duct tape in the clearance bin for on 87 cents.  I think the only reason it was in there was because someone ripped that plastic wrap on it.  Other than that is was fine. So i brought my goodies home, cut the wood done to 12 x 16, sanded it, covered the whole thing with the black duct tape, not only to make it a little stonger but aslo to match the black crop Apron.  then I added velcro so it would stay inside the fabric top.  Yes, it worked!! 

the I got to thinking....what could i do to make this bag even better?  I took the extra duck tape and velco and added a few extra straps to hold my long rulers and my slighter larger paper trimmer to the top of the tote.  I figured when I get to a crop these are the first things I pull out anyway so now they just have quick release velcro holding them into the roof of my new bag. 

Then I thought about my big ATG gun.  It fits in a side pocket but it is top heavy and falls out when I roll the bag around my room.  So another strap with velcro to hold this in but make it very easy to get at and take out.  (Savings $ 26.09 plus cost of shipping for the crop apron)

So now I think my bag is complete.  Now it was time to give it the real test...
and YES, my scraprack will sit on top of the bag.  So at the next crop I go to, I can pack the pages and rack inside my crop crate and when I get there I can set everything up on top of my crate and have access to all my tools in the pockets around the bag.

So, if I add everything up that I did spend in the last couple of days , it was about $77 for everything with no shipping costs for anything) 

If I had waited and ordered all this from and, it would have cost me $295 with extra fees for shipping. Not that I am knocking either company.  They both make high quality products and in the long run I may still have to re-order what I bought today, Frankly,because I do not know how long my substitute items will hold up, but, I am happy for today and i learned being impatient and improvising can be a GOOD THING. 

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