This is a cross-post from Get Crafty.

My mom gave me an old Rolodex a couple of months ago. I couldn’t imagine what I would use it for. With email and cell phones I don’t ever look anyone’s contact info up. But I couldn’t turn it down. It had never been used before and the thought of all those blank cards going to waste was unbearable. I had a Rolodex just like this one with my first office job working for a very small newspaper as a writer, proofreader and all-round-office-gofer-type. Except we were such a small operation (=poor) that I think I mainly used the backs of old cards and used my few new cards sparingly for extra special contacts. I guess using the backs was good from a green point of view, but since there weren’t any new cards available it made me feel a little downtrodden sometimes.

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So when my mom offered it to me, of course I accepted it. It sat under my work table for a few months while I tried to figure out what I’d use it for. I’ve been on hiatus from crafting all of 2007. I simply haven’t had time to actually craft with my job and planning ICE and various other projects. But of course, that is ridiculous so I’m back into it and one of the things I’m making is jewelry, which I haven’t done in a really long time. When I went to order supplies for this new endeavor, I realized I really had no idea what size jump rings I wanted and what gauge wire I like for my earring hooks and how long I like my eye pins. So I ordered three of a bunch of stuff – two to try out on a pair of earrings and one to save for my new-fancy-Rolodex-craft-supply-resource-center.

That’s right! The Rolodex is going to serve as a gathering spot for all sorts of info about supplies. I tend to dabble and jump around when it comes to crafting and consequently, a year could pass without me buying new supplies for any given type of crafting. There’s no reason to start from scratch each time, right? On my ‘dex cards I will staple, write, doodle and tape any scrap of craft supply information I can find.

The jewelry findings come in mini zip top bags so I staple the bag with my sample specimen onto the card. Particularly nice is that the website that I order supplies from prints the product number onto said bag. So when it’s time for reordering I can just grab the card. There’s also space so if I want to remind myself of anything I can write that down: “These hooks are only good for light weight earrings.”

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Last year I started a similar process when I was really into dying fabric. Since the colors never end up exactly the color of the box, every time I tried a new color I kept a swatch of it and stapled it to a big piece of paper and wrote down the name of the color and brand of dye. I’ve now transferred these to my Rolodex.

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Similarly, I’m keeping templates in the ‘dex. I recently ordered 1” buttons from Button Storm and I’ve made a card with a template for the buttons as well as mirrors.

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I feel very organized now and I’m so glad I was able to come up with a use for the Rolodex. The good news is I have plenty of blank cards so I’ll be able to add info to the ‘dex for years to come!

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