Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tips and Tricks

For the past several months I have had a contest running in the Puyallup Gem Clubs newsletter. Well we finally have an entry in the Tips and Tricks thanks to Khara Gunness. These are her helpful hints to keep your hobby organized and unbroken. Thanks Khara for the pictures and text.

Build a Sturdy Rock Storage System
Organize and store (at least part of) your growing collection!
By Khara Gunness

Start with a free‐standing pine storage unit that has 4 or 5 adjustable location shelves. These can be purchased unassembled at one‐stop‐shopping stores and measure approximately 32” wide x 20” deep x 63” tall. Take note of the various shelf spacing possibilities and shop around for some clear plastic tubs that will fit most efficienty within the dimensions of the unit. Tubs with lids can be purchased pretty reasonably in multi‐packs. If desired and to maximize usefulness, build additional shelves using the existing shelves as a template. After assembly, brace the back and two sides with a continuous piece of 1x2 lumber placed on the diagonal. Check for plumb and square all the way around before attaching each brace. The bracing is what allows for the heavier weight of rock by keeping the shelf unit from swaying. Slip a 4x6 index card into the front of each tub for labeling and load up the shelves with your collection! The system is quick and easy to build, fairly inexpensive, and most importantly, functional.

Cushion your Collection

Protect those rocks that you’ve worked so hard to acquire!
By Khara Gunness

Use Foamies or Fun Foam to cushion mineral specimens or to protect and separate slabs while in storage. Fun Foam is a soft 1/16” thick material made for use in kids crafts and can be purchased individually or in multi‐packs at craft stores. The foam is easily cut to any size and is flexible rather than rigid. I like the packs that look like a large brick, which contain around 65 sheets of 6”x9” size. The cost of the brick is about $8.

Organize Your Crafting Workspace

Take a little time now and more fully enjoy your craft for years to come.
By Khara Gunness

Perforated hardboards or Pegboards, traditionally used for hanging tools in the garage, are a handy organizational tool inside the house as well. A Pegboard near a craft workspace has endless potential and affords the crafter with much needed functionality and accessibiity. A Pegboard also takes up zero floor space and is quick and easy to install. It can easily be painted to match your d├ęcor and if your workspace is your dining room table, a curtain can be hung in front of the Pegboard to conceal its view when not in use. Pegboard accessories are numerous and include among other items: shelves, hooks, wire baskets, jars, book pockets, and paper towel holders (which can be used for anything on a spool). Don’t limit yourself though to these specific Pegboard accessories; use your imagination based on what it is that you want organized and play around with plastic bins, wicker baskets, wooden dowels, bungee cords, etc. As some of you may already be thinking, it turns out that I was not the first person to think of this idea. In a recent internet search, I came across numerous crafty bloggers showing off their too cute Pegboard workspaces. Check it out, be inspired!

I hope you have enjoyed these tips from Khara, I know I have and learned a lot.

Thanks for reading, Dana James, Editor, Puyallup Valley Gem & Mineral Club

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