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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What a great idea! Innovative Organization Ideas

This afternoon, we were organizing the Vanna White Fiber Crafts Room at our Colchester headquarters and the ideas just began to flow like sap in the spring time (a little Vermont humor)!
  1. We were organizing our extensive thread inventory into drawer units and realized we could only see the tops of each spoil.  How can we tell them all apart?  We raced to our antique jam jar filled with magic markers and began color coding.  We colored all the blues blue, yellows yellow, etc.  Now we can quickly spot color groups and locate the exact color we are looking for quicker!
  2. Marking the thread inspired us to take a look at our craft paints which were also stored in drawers.  Similar to the thread, we had to pull out several bottles before finding the right color.  Our solution? We painted the top of each bottle cap with a dab from it's contents.  Now we can easily locate that bottle of Moss green! 
  3. After organizing our thread and craft paints, we became tired and needed a caffeine boost.  We went to the staff kitchen to grab a cup of coffee to go and couldn't seem to find the coordinating top for the travel mugs.  How do we solve this dilemma? Nail polish!  Once you have paired each set together, color code each set with a dab of nail dot bottom, red dot top, pink dot bottom, pink dot top and so on.  
  4. We took our coffee back to the craft room to continue our organizing quest.  We found a bunch of embroidery floss.  Most of it was partially used and getting tangled.  Our solution?  A photo album with pages that have multiple pockets.  We separated the colors and slipped them into each pocket.  This now allows us to flip through and locate the perfect floss quickly.
  5. We have ALOT of button, don't ask, don't judge.  We had been keeping them in a wholesale pickle jar.  We ever we needed a button, we would task Timmy, our intern to search for it.  He would have to dump out the entire jar and it took a lot of overtime.  Our solution? Small matching buttons are now threaded onto large safety pins.  Others are sorted by color and placed in zip-lock style bags and stored in plastic shoe boxes.  Now Timmy can find the buttons in a flash!
  6. We had several full and partial skeins of yarn.  They had all been tossed in a large plastic bag.  Again the whole bag would need to be dumped out and untangled to find that perfect shade of fushia.  Our solution?  Sturdy file boxes which stack nicely and are not heavy when filled with yarn.  We snipped a piece from each skein and taped them to the top of the box.  Each skein was then placed in a zip-lock bag to keep them from tangling or picking up fowl odors from the lab.  Now when we need four yards of chartreuse yarn all we have to do is check the box top to see which holds which color.
  7. After all this organizing, we were exhausted but we couldn't figure out what sizes all the different sheets in the lab's dormitory closet were.  Our solution?  Label with a fabric marker and fabric paints.  T for twin, F for full, and so on.  We marked the sheets in an area that would be tucked in and hidden from sight.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Meal of The Month: March

Spaghetti Carbonara Casserole


6 oz spaghetti broken into short lengths
2 C diced cooked ham
3 TBS Butter
4-6 oz sliced mushrooms
4-6 thinly sliced green onions
4 TBS flour
1C chicken broth
1 C milk
1/2 tsp seasoned salt 
1/4 tsp garlic pepper, dash of cayenne or other hot pepper as desired 
1C shredded cheese


  • Cook spaghetti following package directions. Drain and rinse and mix with ham in large bowl.
  • Melt butter over medium low heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until tender.  
  • Add the green onions.  Stir in flour until blended thoroughly.
  • Gradually stir in chicken broth and milk.  Add seasonings.
  • Keep stirring until thickened.  When ready, combine it with the ham and spaghetti.
  • Stir in the cheese.
  • Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Can't Escape The Tape!

Washi Tape

If you haven't discovered the wonder of washi tape, then you must get on your Magellan boots and start sailing to your local craft shop!  Washi tape originated in Japan and is a decorative, paper tape that is available is an endless variety of colors and patterns!  Here four ideas to help you get started:

  1. Wine Glass Identifiers.  Never mix up your wine or cocktail glasses at your next soiree; wrap each glasses' stem with a different color or patterned tape!
  2. Cord Keeper.  Don't toss out those toilet paper tubes when you finish the roll.  Save them, decorate them in washi tape, and use them to wrangle power cords and other cables.
  3. Jazz up anything, even your office supplies!  Wrap binder clips, staplers, paper clip dispenses, keyboards, file cabinets, etc to make your cubicle survivable! 

  4. Coordinate cords.  Never unplug the wrong thing or waste time searching for the right charging cable.  Add small "flags" to your cables and wires.  You either label the flags or place a piece of matching tape on the coordinating piece of technology (iPhone, Kindle, etc).