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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Organizing My Magazine Stash

A while back I did a seasonal exchange and had to find a chart that fit specific directions (70x70 stitches if I remember right) for the season of Summer. I spent hours going through my magazines to try and find a chart that would fit, that I thought my partner would like, and could be easily altered to fit the dimensions. It drove me crazy going through all those magazines and also reminded me of all these charts that I had forgotten I had and wanted to stitch. Since then I kept the idea of organizing the magazines somehow to make it easier to find something I wanted, and to remember charts I wanted to stitch, in the back of my mind. Of course I wanted something that wouldn't take long to set up and would be easy to maintain. Sadly, I couldn't think of anything "easy" but realized that if I kept waiting the job was only going to get harder as my magazine collection grew. So I sat down and created categories. The ones I chose are:
  1. Winter/Xmas (all Xmas designs, winter designs, winter holidays)
  2. Spring/Easter
  3. Summer (summer holidays, flowers, insects)
  4. Autumn/Halloween (this includes Thanksgiving)
  5. Children/Birth Announcements (Birthdays, kid designs etc)
  6. Anniversaries/Weddings
  7. Misc. (everything that doesn't fit in the other categories)
  8. Household (kitchen, bathroom, tablecloths etc that don't fit in a holiday)
  9. Samplers (don't fit in holidays/seasons, hardanger)
  10. Animals (animal designs that don't fit in a holiday/season)
  11. Articles (articles to learn new stitches, techniques etc)
To help myself on the first page is a list of acronyms and the full name of each magazine, in case I forget what one of them stands for. I have some magazines that are from the 1980's, given to me by my mother in law. Since they are no longer in print, I have forgotten their names at times and get pleasantly surprised when I see them if I go through my magazines. Here are the acronyms I use:
  1. CCS: Cross Country Stitching
  2. CS+N: Cross Stitch and Needlework
  3. TCS: The Cross Stitcher
  4. JCS: Just Cross Stitch
  5. C4CS: Crazy For Cross Stitch
  6. SCS: Simply Cross Stitch
  7. 4"heart"CS: For The Love Of Cross Stitch
  8. SHI: Special Holiday Issue
  9. CQ: Cross Quick
  10. CS4AS: Cross Stitch For All Seasons
  11. ACSC: A Cross Stitch Christmas
  12. CS+CC: Cross Stitch and Country Crafts
  13. ADCSC: American Designs Cross Stitch Collectibles
  14. SW: Stitchers World
  15. BHG CSC: Better Homes & Garden Cross Stitch Christmas (not the hardcovers)
  16. CS: Country Stitch
With my bad memory, and to keep myself from having too many categories ( I wanted to keep this fairly simple), I created a small list of where I put some designs that I don't have a lot of so I can easily find them. This list is on the same page as the acronyms for the magazines.
  1. Friendship (Misc)
  2. Mother's Day (Spring)
  3. Father's Day (Summer)
  4. Graduation (Misc)
  5. Fantasy (Misc)
  6. Bookmarks (Misc)
  7. Jewelry/Wearable (Misc)
  8. Sports (Misc)
  9. Alphabets (Misc)
  10. Borders (Misc)
  11. Food (Kitchen)
  12. Houses (misc)
  13. Quilts (misc)
  14. Blackwork (samplers)
  15. Teacher/School/Back To School (Autumn)
The last "table" is a key to help me easily find a pattern that I want to stitch. A star is for a pattern I want to stitch, 2 stars is one I want to do first. *G is for a chart I wanted to stitch as a gift and *e is for a chart I think would work well for an exchange.

I use a 3 ring binder, loose leaf paper, and those page dividers with the little plastic tabs that you can slide small papers with a category name in on the right sides. Here are the first few entries under Winter/Xmas to show how I put them in

  1. CS+N 7/00 p15 Patriotic Santa Stocking (Santa colored as Uncle Sam Xmas stocking)
  2. CS+N 9/07 p47 All Hearts Come Home For Xmas Stocking (door w/wreath, tree in window, kids playing in window, snowman out front)
  3. C4CS 1/02 p9 Xmas Silhouette (3 bookmarks of silhouette stitching; 1:shepherd, star, baby Jesus 2: tree in front of window 3: star over Bethlehem)
The numbers are put to the left of the red margin with the stars next to them so they are easy to see. I put a small description so I have an idea of what is in the design to help me decide if that particular design may work or not without having to dig out every magazine to look at the chart.

Not all my magazines have been entered. I am currently half way through. I work on putting in at least 3 magazines per day and when a new magazine arrives it gets entered before I put it away on the shelf.

When the directory is done I plan on getting those boxes to store magazines on shelves, or three ring binders with the little sleeves for magazines (I'm not sure which one yet), and storing them by name and dated order so it will be easy to find the issue I need and will be easy to put the issue back when I am done.

For those who are good at making computer programs they can probably create a database program that does something similar by just pointing and clicking to select the magazine name and then has data entry fields to type in the other information. I, however, can't do that so stuck with paper and pen. lol

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Missy (aka Raven)