Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It's day number something-or-other of the creativity queue challenge at Daisy Yellow.  Not only have I completed another half-finished project, I've coerced my borrowed technology into cooperating so that I could share it with you.

If you remember, my first project in this series involved my funky new binding system and organizing all my loose artwork.

Today's project picks up where that left off.  For the past six months I've been trying to make test pages for all my art supplies, so that when I'm pawing through the box of colored pencils trying to find JUST the right shade of blue, I don't have to scribble with every single blue pencil (yet again) to remember how it looks on paper.  I can refer to the test sheet, like the one below:
Helpful, right?  This one is for watercolor crayons, and it shows what the crayon looks like dry as well as wet, and it lists the name of the color next to the test.

My goal has been to make a page like this for every different type of material.  I've been chipping away at it, but the pages are scattered everywhere - some in sketchbooks, some stuffed in a folder, some in a pile on the bookshelf.  I tracked them all down:
I figured out which materials were not represented, and made a few more sheets. 
Then, I punched holes in all the pages, created dividers so I could organize them by TYPE of art supply (colored pencils, markers, pastels, paints, etc.)  and used some old scrapbook paper as the covers.

Now I have a handy-dandy reference book, and because of the cool binding system, I can add pages whenever I want.
It sits on the shelf right next to my work desk where I can easily refer to it in the middle of a project.
 This makes me so very happy.
Huge thanks to the fabulous Tammy for lighting the motivational fire!


  1. First off, that is all sorts of awesomeness. The beautiful organization makes me want to squee, and I don't squee, generally. (I *almost* bought that hole punch, but then didn't, because the disky ring things confused me. Maybe next time it's on sale.)

    Secondly, this reminded me of a Spencer Finch piece that's currently at the RISD Museum of Art, called The Garden of Eden (All the Colors in My Paintbox). If you go to this link ( and scroll down you'll see it. He painted with all the colors in his paintbox, like the title says, and made a grid, and then where they overlapped attempted to match the new color to an already named color, and then notated it all according to a system, which is explained in the exhibit but not at that link. I was impressed by the level of obsessiveness that must have taken.

  2. what a great idea, can you come over and help me organize like that (ha ha)

  3. Holy moly - this is beyond organized. I've started similar projects here and there....have sample sheets of my watercolors, etc. but never thought about cataloging markers, etc. Your magic binder seems to be the perfect answer. I'm impressed!

  4. I have always loved journals filled with color swatches ... I think I need to do this ...
    oh, but wait, I am in MY crabby mode! Sheesh woman, you keep me busy!

  5. I have to say I'm impressed. Do you want to come round and catalogue mine too?

  6. Love your organization of colours.
    I try to do samples of mine, but they need to be organized like yours!
    Thanks for the idea.

  7. Love your reference book.The cover is stunning. I too have made such shadings to know the different brands of watercolors but it's all in different sketchbooks,pads and loose sheets.This is an awesome idea.

  8. I so need to get this motivation.... and the system looked great... I need it !!!!!!!

  9. Wow, you are good, I'll give you that, I could never ever be that organized. I would probably do it and promptly never use it again....I am glad it lights a fire for you and helps with your spontaneous combustion! xox

  10. Okay, I just looked at your peeps posting and I'm still smiling. Although not nearly the same panache as the peeps, this is still a good idea. I have little sample cards scattered here and there. But I will admit to enjoying making sample cards, and this might just eliminate my ready made excuse for making more.

  11. Okay, this is really amazing. This has my mind blowing in the wind. Not a good image, but let's face it. This is a huge undertaking! I've ofte had vague thoughts that this might be a good thing to have, but just as the idea was forming fully in my mind, I took a lay down.

    Cheers to YOU!

    1. I really like this. As a beginning-creative who has come to a stand still and feels overwhelmed with all the random materials I have bought since New Year, this could be a useful exercise. Thank you. Where do you get the ring binding done or do you do it yourself? And how?

  12. Wow, how super organized you are getting!

  13. this idea is sooo cool...isn´t a great feeling, when this is done?? awww you inspired me to do a little organizing too :)

  14. Wow! This is far more organized than I can ever hope to be....haha! Very cool!

  15. Well, aren't you just the Queen of organization! In case you can't tell, I'm quite envious. I now feel compelled to attempt this - which doesn't necessarily mean of course that it will happen...

  16. Okay, I am sick and tired of waiting around for me to stop by here and see what you're doing. What kind of life do I lead that I can't get to my favorite blogs?

    A very sad and lonely life of dejection.


    What are we swapping?