Tuesday, May 06, 2008

How Do You Manage? 

As I was packing up books for this last move a friend said "well it will be easier this time because you can pack them all in alphabetical order just as you have them on the shelves here." No my dears, those pesky needlework books have to be packed by dimensions. First you create at least three piles --- large/overlarge, medium, and small. Then you start to fit them into small boxes fitting one or two large books at the bottom, starting to fill with medium books and then tucking small books in remaining available space.

They came out of the boxes just that way this time and went directly on the shelves. Later I'll get them whipped back into order by author's name.

Some of my friends put their needlework books on the shelf by technique (i.e. blackwork, drawn thread, goldwork, etc.) and this is the method I followed for years. But as the number of books grew and the number of quirky books grew by leaps and bounds, I began shelving by name of author/editor/publisher. With a decent database it makes things manageable for me.

Now when it comes to fibers, I sort by type (wool, silk, metallic, gold, cotton, linen, etc.) If there are a number of threads by one manufacturer then they get a container(s) of their own. I know some folks manage their threads by color - but when does blue end and green begin. I'm easily confused.

As to ground materials it is by material (linen, cotton, silk, paper) and then sometimes broken down into weave (Aida, evenweave, mono canvas, penelope canvas, silk gauze).

Buttons go in tins - everyone needs a button box or two or three. Charms go in a drawer of an organizer, braids, cords and tassels get stored together and lace is grouped together.

Needles go in plastic boxes with a cobalt blue dresser pin tray which belonged to my grandmother and mother holding an assorted pool of needles that have escaped from somewhere. These are the needles I use day-to-day.

Arrgh. I'm always open to suggestions from others on managing all this STUFF!

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frantically waving here - great to see you back

I sort my books by technique

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