It’s probably a really common thing to have but I’ve recently discovered how useful it is to have a book of samples, tests and inspirations – does anyone else have one?
Mine is this cute little notebook I picked up from Flying Tiger a while back:
I didn’t have a plan for it when I got the notebook, I just thought it was cute! When I finally started using it, I thought I’d use it for keeping track of different crafts I could make, detailing out all the things I would need for it and any notes worth taking about the project.
But, I never seemed too bothered about filling things in. I listed a few crafts at the start but never updated it so I stopped with that use for the book.
With all but a few pages left blank, I thought I’d try use my book as an inspiration book, somewhere I could stick in pictures of things I wanted to try make:
This seemed like a great idea – I could cut out pictures from magazines and have a one stop spot for ideas! Only then I realised that I don’t actually buy craft magazines and most of my ideas come from online so I’d have to print them out first and then stick them in…
Okay, so scrap that use for this notebook too!
Onto idea number three – somewhere to test out my stamps, dies and embossing folders.
I don’t know about you but sometimes, I just forget what craft supplies I have!
I liked the idea of having a book I could flick through to see everything I have so that when I am watching card making videos, I can quickly see if I have suitable supplies to try out a technique and such. I have folders of stamps that I can flick through which is handy but those folders are up in my craft room and a bit bulky for when I’m lounging on the couch watching YouTube videos. Also, just looking at an embossing folder doesn’t really give you a good impression of what effect you’ll get – you really need to see a sample of it to know if it’s what you want on your project.
I set to work with my stamps and some black ink and very quickly stamped everything onto the pages of my little notebook. I wasn’t bothered about perfect stamping at all – I didn’t need it to be perfect, just recognisable as to what the stamp was! I didn’t even put my clear stamps on clear blocks to stamp, just kept them on the backing they were on! It kept the job simple and quick but being able to see roughly what the stamps look like on paper is just great.
As for the embossing folders, I cut a few pieces of white card and ran them through my die cutting machine.
Before sticking them onto the pages, I did run some ink pads over them, well half of each one, to get an idea what that looked like because I do often use my embossed pieces like that (especially that wood one). I really do think this will help me use my embossing folders more because I often forget about them but now they’re at the start of my samples notebook so I tend to see them every time I open it up.
The die-cutting went similar to the embossing – I grabbed some coloured card (just to make the shapes easier to see) and ran everything through my machine.
For the set I have of shapes that can layer on top, I made sure to use different colours just so I could easily see how they might work together.
I did also stick some examples of the dies in use. These were from cards I was making that I made mistakes on but I saved these parts for my books because they’ll remind me of what I can do with my supplies.
So that’s my samples book, as I’m calling it. There’s still many more pages to fill and I’m going to make an effort of stamping any new stamps I get into it as well as testing out those dies and embossing folders. I think this will be the use that sticks! It’s just really handy having one notebook to check for my supplies. I definitely recommend doing something like this for whatever material you work with in your crafts!