ISO: A Way to Fit It All In!

I have a hunch I’m not alone in saying that I have two main challenges when it comes to creating art: Space and Time. It’s the physics of crafting:  Where do I put my stuff, and when do I actually get to use it?! I’m happy to say, I seem to have finally found a good solution for the “where” question, at least for now. The “when?” Yeah… I got nothin’. Anyone??

(The Scrapbox, closed, with Stella providing a visual scale)

Scott, the three cats and I share a two-bedroom townhouse (the cats take up most of the space). I bought this place last summer and I absolutely love it, but it’s been interesting figuring out where to put our stuff. Up until a few weeks ago I had all my craft supplies crammed into plastic bins and stacked in a closet. Boy, did that ever makes it super fun and easy to do art on a whim! So, one night when I was perusing an issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors (a.k.a. “The Great Enabler”) and saw an ad for a contraption called The Original Scrapbox, my inner shopaholic started to hyperventilate. I couldn’t navigate to the website fast enough, and, sisters and brothers, once I did, I was done for. I became a woman obsessed, so overcome with Product Lust I was willing to ravage my savings account, wipe out my Christmas bonus and compromise the virtue of my emergency-only credit card, all in the name of Scrapbox ownership. And that’s exactly what I did.

(Perceptive readers will note that I did not in any way imperil my craft supply budget in order to purchase the Scrapbox…)

(The Wonderland that is the open Scrapbox)

Questionable budgetary maneuvering aside, let me just say right now, the Scrapbox is the coolest piece of storage furnitue even engineered by human hands. Much like Clark Kent, when it’s closed, it’s just a mild-mannered creature, handsome but sedate. Then you swing those big doors out and fold down the table and… Whoa, BABY! All those totes! All that ROOM! Little drawers for trinkets, big boxes for paper, clear pockets for pens… whoever thought this up is a freaking genius. For someone like me with serious space constraints and a raging compulsion to expand her product collection ad infinitum, it’s the Holy Grail and a perfect red lipstick, all rolled into one.

And you’re thinking, “Yeah, right, she’s obviously getting a kickback from the Scrapbox people.” Honey, I wish! If I were, I’d buy their desk, too. But just so I don’t sound like an infomercial– and because forewarned is forearmed– let me offer a few caveats for anyone considering taking the plunge.

(Grey Kitty selects a shade of Distress Crackle Paint)

Promises of easy assembly notwithstanding, I feel like we should both get some kind of honorary engineering degree after putting this contraption together. For us, it was a two-person, multi-hour extravaganza, and it became one of those experiences that we’ll someday look back on and laugh, if you get my drift. I recommend a nice Beaujolais to make the process less painful.

Also, let’s face it, the Scrapbox is expensive, and unless you happen to luck into a free shipping deal like I did, you’ll need to tack another $300 onto the price for freight charges. (BTW, it’s worth becoming the company’s Facebook fan so you’ll know when they’re offering that promo again.)

(Scott, good-naturedly enduring the Scrapbox squish)

Finally, as smartly designed as it is, the Scrapbox still requires a good chunk of space when it’s open. In our little shared office upstairs, we’re talking about an entire wall. Poor, patient Scott has to do a sort of sideways limbo dance to sit down at his desk when I’m crafting, which is totally entertaining to watch but kind of sucks for him.

All that aside, I’m still convinced that this is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. As George Carlin once wisely said, “We all just want a place for our stuff.” I have to concur. And guys, I’ve shoved every craft supply I own into this baby, and there’s still room to grow.

Good thing, too…