How can I organise my magazines and packets?

A recipe for magazines and packets

Your magazines can be filed like the books in appropriate boxes with an index you make. However, I personally don't have enough shelf space for this and hate not being able to lay my hands on exactly what I want in a moment. So..I turn my magazines into pattern packets and information files. For storage you will need either a set of large ring binders and(I started this way) or a filing cabinet with suspension files and folders. You will need tons of plastic pockets too.

1. To turn your magazines into pattern packets you will need a good paper trimmer or a craft knife, steel ruler and cutting mat.
2. You will also need a packet of sticky notes and a planned trip to a photocopier.
3. Ok...ready? Here is what we do. Open the magazine up in the middle. Use a knife or similar to undo the staples holding the pages together and remove them. Keep you pages in order.
4. Trim each page right down the centre. Still keep the pages in order. This is very important!
5. Close you magazine as if it were still in one piece.
6. Turn to the beginning and work through selecting only the patterns and ideas you want to keep. This is important! The idea here is to cull what you don't like or are not likely to paint or find useful! Exclude the advertising!! As you select each one check the following:
*Does a page I want to keep for this pattern back onto a page I want to keep for the next one? If so, make a note to have one of the two pages photocopied. I usually pick a text page over a page with illustrations.
*Is there a pattern for this on the pattern insert? If so make a note to trace or copy that pattern if you can't just cut it out(because of patterns on the back)
*Are the instructions complete or do they continue on a page later in the magazine. Locate the extra page and note it for copying.

7. At this point, the magazine should still be complete. Now take the magazine to copy centre and copy the necessary pages. I am not too concerned about copyright here. You have paid for the magazine, and are storing the magazine in a logical manner. You have the original page probably elsewhere in your filing system. You are not going to sell it or make a profit from it. It is for your reference only, your private and personal use.
8. Once you get the pages and magazine back home, it is time to package up those patterns into plastic pockets. Once again, you need to clear the decks and make piles to suit categories. Because I use a filing cabinet, I have subcategories: Animals is now cats, dogs, farmyard, sheep, cows etc. Flowers are violets, pansies, hydrangeas etc. Fruit is citrus, berry and fruit salad!
9. Once you have them sorted, file them and make a record of what is in your cabinet. I used alphabetical order for the categories and then the sub categories within.
10. Now add your pattern packets into this file.
11. Finally, you need to record what you have. As suggested on the books organization, you can use index cards, or even simply write list of what is in the drawer. You can use your computer skills and create space for these in your database on books, or create a separate database. You can use a commercially provided database like the Decorative Painter Data Base.

To make the most from this system include technical notes like colour theory, information on paint products, paint colour charts and conversions, historical information etc. Even make a file for these tips!

Folk Art Frequently Asked Questions

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Australian Aboriginal Art

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson